MOSCOW DENIES SUPPLYING ARMS TO KOSOVO REBELS.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 28
Russia’s Foreign Ministry reacted angrily yesterday to allegations that military hardware from Russia is finding its way to ethnic Albanian separatists in Yugoslavia’s troubled province of Kosovo. Shaqir Vukaj, Albania’s ambassador to Russia, had made the charge a day earlier. Vukaj suggested that Russia has emerged as one of several sources of the weaponry which is finding its way to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). Vukaj also denied accusations that Albania is a significant source of military hardware for the KLA, claiming in the interview that Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian separatists now have weaponry of a sort not found in Albania (Russian agencies, February 8).
In the statement it released yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry described Vukaj’s statements as “unfounded and inappropriate.” The ministry also said that Moscow “stands for settling the Kosovo problem peacefully” and for “strictly observing” the UN arms embargo on Yugoslavia. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it had reacted to Vukaj’s remarks with “bewilderment” (Russian agencies, February 9). There have been many calls in Russia for Moscow to supply Yugoslav authorities with military hardware. The Russian government has rebuffed those demands, however, and certainly would not consider sanctioning arms supplies to the Kosovo Albanian rebels whom Moscow has blamed for the crisis in Kosovo.
SPOTLIGHT TURNED ON ILLEGAL RUSSIAN ARMS DEALINGS.