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President Vladimir Putin sent a letter to Speaker of the State Duma Gennady Seleznyov about the situation in Yugoslavia

October 5, 2000

The letter reads, in particular:

“I fully share your opinion that the outcome of the presidential elections in the Republic of Yugoslavia should be determined strictly within the framework of the law and based on documented and confirmed results. The new president of Yugoslavia should be elected through democratic means and be supported by the clearly expressed will of the majority of voters.

Unfortunately, the situation in Yugoslavia has increasingly turned to confrontation over these last days. If this process is not stopped, the consequences could be very serious indeed, and not just for Yugoslavia.

This is why I have put forward the initiative to invite Slobodan Milosevic and Vojislav Kostunica to Moscow in the coming days in order to discuss possible solutions to the current situation.

While in India on a state visit, I am constantly keeping up to date on developments in Yugoslavia and have discussed the situation there in telephone calls with Bill Clinton, Anthony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, Giuliano Amato and Kofi Annan. [Foreign Minister] Igor Ivanov is in constant contact with his colleagues on this matter.

The main thing, as I see it, is to prevent the use of force and find a solution based on law and supported by the majority of the country’s people.

Unfortunately, despite our active appeals, I have still not received any clear answer from either Slobodan Milosevic or Vojislav Kostunica. This worries me greatly, as the situation is getting worse every day.

I am sure that the Russian President, Duma and Government will continue to act in coordinated fashion in order to help achieve political stability in Yugoslavia, restore Yugoslavia’s positions on the international stage and strengthen the fraternal relations between our peoples”.

October 5, 2000