Rugova: Halt to NATO bombings
   PRISTINA, Yugoslavia, April 5 (AFP) - Moderate Kosovo Albanian  
leader Ibrahim Rugova said Monday that NATO "bombings should be 
halted" in Yugoslavia and called on Belgrade to be "more cooperative 
with the international community." 
   Rugova was speaking with reporters after a meeting with the  
Russian ambassador to Belgrade Yuri Kotov in his house in the Kosovo 
capital Pristina. 
   "There should be an end to the situation in Kosovo, the bombing  
should be stopped and monitoring put in," Rugova said in French, 
without elaborating further. 
   "I hope this will be discussed on the international level. This  
is not a question just for me. I am here without my people," he 
   Already last Wednesday, during a brief meeting with journalists  
in his house in Pristina, Rugova had called on NATO to stop the air 
raids and asked Belgrade to "cooperate." 
   Rugova said he had asked the Belgrade authorities to allow him  
to go abroad. 
   "I told Kotov that I am interested in leaving Pristina to go to  
Skopje (Macedonia) and other countries to contribute to the process 
and stop the actual situation, because I am here without my 
associates," Rugova said. 
   "I cannot work and contribute here in Pristina. I can do more  
outside Kosovo ... I told Serbian authorities of this request. I am 
waiting for a response," Rugova said. 
   Kotov said he had raised the issue with Yugoslav deputy premier  
Nikola Sainovic. 
   "Sainovic confirmed to me that your movements are free and that  
they (the Yugoslav authorities) are concerned about your personal 
security. I believe this situation will be solved," Kotov told 
   Asked whether he actually met with Yugoslav President Slobodan  
Milosevic in Belgrade last Thursday -- a meeting shown on Serb 
television and whose authenticity has been questioned -- Rugova 
simply said, in English: "This is speculation. I was in Belgrade." 
   NATO officials had doubted that Rugova was at the meeting,  
saying that the footage shown by the Serbian state television may 
have been "two years old." 
   After Thurday's meeting, Milosevic and Rugova signed a joint  
statement in which they committed themselve to solving the problem 
in Kosovo by "political means," Serbian state television reported. 
   Rugova thanked the Russian ambassador for his "engagement on the  
Kosovo issue" in the current circumstances which "are very 
   "A solution should be found to this situation. It is very  
serious and I ask Belgrade to be more cooperative with the 
international community," Rugova said. 
   He reiterated that the problem should be tackled politically,  
adding: "Everything should be done to find a solution for all people 
in the Balkans region and Kosovo." 
   Kotov said that the "Russian position is well-known."  
   "The bombing should be stopped immediately and (one should)  
return to the political track, because ... the problem in Kosovo is 
too complicated and cannot be resolved, except by political means," 
Kotov said. 
   "I am very satisfied that Mr Rugova shares this opinion," he  
   The Russian government, Kotov said, "has made an official  
decision to organise humanitarian aid to all the regions of 
Yugoslavia, to send a hundred trucks with purely humanitarian aid." 
   "We are positive that Kosovo inhabitants should return," he  
said, "but I also believe that returning under bombs, demands lot of 
   Kotov expresssed admiration for Rugova's courage in choosing to  
remain in Kosovo. 
   Rugova's and Kotov's brief meeting with journalists was  
organised by the Serb Information center in Pristina. Some 15 
reporters, among them Greek, Turkish and Serbian television 
journalists, were present. 
   Serbian television broadcast footage of the meeting, with a  
brief report saying the Russian ambassador reaffirmed Moscow's 
position that "the bombing should stop immediately and political 
dialogue should be relaunched." 
   Kotov said "he was satisfied that Doctor Ibrahim Rugova has the  
same view," the TV reported. 
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