To normalize the situation in Kosovo, the population of the area must be disarmed and anyone who incites disorder must be punished, official Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Yakovenko declared at a press conference here Thursday. 'First, the situation has to be stabilized and, only then, can a decision be made as to what else needs to be done,' he said. 'Without eliminating the causes of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, it will be extremely difficult to meet the demands of UN Resolution N1244.'
The Kosovo question is a central focus of Russian Foreign Ministry attention at this time, Yakovenko said. 'What is happening there disturbs us greatly,' he stressed. 'We want no repetition of ethnic cleansings.' He said the Foreign Ministry is holding talks on the matter with Russia's partners in the contact group, the leadership of NATO and the UN Security Council.