The mandate of the Russian peacekeeping contingent in Bosnia and Herzegovina expires on Wednesday, RIA Novosti was told in the headquarters of the Russian contingent in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The commanders stressed that the reduction of the Russian military contingent had not aggravated the quality of the accomplishment of missions by the Russian peacekeepers. Now the number of Russian servicemen in Bosnia and Herzegovina makes 270 people.
In line with the Dayton agreement of 1995 the parliament and the President of the Russian Federation regularly extend the mandate of Russian peacekeepers in this Balkan country. That's why, the Russian Defence Ministry said, the extension of the Russian peacekeeping mandate is a "technical issue." As the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina returns to normal, NATO countries reduce their SFOR contingents. In 2002 the West is due to reduce the number of its peacekeepers from 18,000 to 12,000 servicemen.
There are 650 Russian soldiers and officers in Kosovo now. Commander of the Russian military contingent in Kosovo Major-General Nikolai Kriventsov told RIA Novosti that "the amount of tasks remains unchanged--it is the same as it used to be when there were twice as many peacekeepers." He added that the number of stationary outposts had been reduced, while the number of mobile groups had been increased.