MILOSEVIC MEETS WITH HEAD OF RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 116
Yesterday’s talks in Moscow began in the morning with a meeting between Yeltsin and Milosevic. They then continued with a subsequent, expanded session attended by Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, Defense Minister Igor Sergeev, Foreign Intelligence Service Director Vyacheslav Trubnikov and Boris Yeltsin’s foreign policy aide, Sergei Prikhodka.
Yeltsin described the talks as “difficult.” It appeared evident from the remarks made after the meetings, however, that the two sides had found much on which to agree. Moscow claims traditional ties to Serbia and has been Belgrade’s staunchest diplomatic supporter. Yeltsin referred to that close relationship when he told reporters that, “[w]e do not forget that we [and Yugoslavia] are Slav states and are friends.” Traditional ties–religious and political–between Russia and Serbia were also underscored during a meeting yesterday between Milosevic and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Aleksii II. The Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia joined Milosevic in rejecting Western reports of brutality and ethnic cleansing by Serb forces in Kosovo. Aleksii highlighted instead the importance of Kosovo to the Serbian Orthodox church and signaled his displeasure over NATO threats to take military action to stop the violence in Kosovo. (Itar-Tass, June 16)
DUMA CRITICIZES WESTERN POLICY TOWARD KOSOVO.