Vladimir Putin: Russia has supported and still supports the position of the President of Macedonia on the just settlement of the problem of fighting terrorism in Macedonia and the region as a whole.
We believe that force can only be used in international affairs by decision of the UN Security Council. At the same time, disarming the terrorists in Kosovo and some parts of Macedonia is a problem that has long come to a head and whose solution is long overdue. So we support the decision of the international community on the issue.
We proceed on the basis that the problem cannot be solved by mere declarations or by going through the motions. If we really want the weapons to be surrendered we should see first of all how to block the channels through which more and more weapons enter the region.
We should understand that we are confronting terrorists and not rebels. We should understand that the people who confront us use fundamentalism as a cover for their aggressive aspirations and their true goals are not to solve humanitarian problems such as language and everything connected with that. We are confronted by people who have a very different set of political goals, such as redrawing the map of Europe.
The international community should understand this and should not be misled or allow itself to be misled by providing more and more pretexts for resolving political issues by military force.
We believe that the problems of the Balkans, including in Macedonia, can only be solved if the legitimate interests of all the peoples in that part of Europe, including the Albanian population, are met.
I repeat, people who try to solve political issues by force of arms must understand and feel that they will face not a show of strength but its actual use by the international community. Only then can tangible results be achieved.