Russian aid distributed to Kosovo Serbs

GRAČANICA -- Reports say that Serbs in the Kosovo enclave of Gračanica have begun receiving Russian humanitarian aid.


The distribution of the material sent in four shipments last months is carried out by the Red Cross.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti says that Gračanica, with a population of 13,000, is one of 22 Serb areas in Kosovo to receive Russian aid, which was provided following a request from Serbia's government citing a deteriorating humanitarian situation in the province.

"The humanitarian aid should in any case be depoliticized as it was provided at the request of the Serbian government and is a sign of friendly relations between Russia and Serbia," head of Russia's diplomatic mission in Kosovo Andrei Dronov said.

The news agency also quoted Dronov as saying that the situation for Serbs in Kosovo had deteriorated since the Albanian-dominated province proclaimed unilateral independence on Feb. 17.