Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen,
This is our second meeting with President Kostunica. The first one, as you know, took place in Moscow last year. At that time we agreed on the principles of our mutual relations, on the main areas of cooperation between our states. Today we are pleased to say that the agreements reached last autumn are being fulfilled.
We have heard the reports by the co-chairs of the Governmental Commissions on the Russian and Yugoslavian side on the development of our trade and economic ties. Although our economic relations declined after the unfortunate events connected with the bombings, nevertheless, the past year has seen a revival in certain fields. Our experts have held talks on the supply of Russian energy to Yugoslavia on acceptable terms to ensure social and economic stability in Yugoslavia.
Of course, we have discussed the situation in the region as a whole and the settlement of crises, above all in southern Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia. I briefed President Kostunica on my talk with the President of the United States and on our discussion of the Balkans, and I told him that Russia and the United States were committed to doing everything for a just settlement in that region.
Today it is more evident than ever that the leadership of Yugoslavia needs the support of the whole international community. Russia is ready to make its contribution. At the same time, during our talks today we have focused on the serious threats to stability in the region. Above all, these include nationalist and religious extremism and intolerance. The main source today is in Kosovo. And there I fully agree with President Kostunica: it is the task of the world community to ensure compliance with UN Resolution 1244. However complicated and difficult it may be, we must comply with the resolution and do everything to disarm the terrorists. I think that the international community is beginning to realise this, especially in connection with the tragic events in Macedonia.
President Kostunica briefed us on the plans to reform the Federation and we wish the Yugoslavian leadership success in forming a democratic sovereign state on the territory of Yugoslavia.