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Macedonia: Minister Says War In Kosovo Unlikely

  • Ron Synovitz

Kyiv, 12 May 1998 (RFE/RL) - Macedonian Finance Minister Taki Fiti told the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) today that civil war in the neighboring Serbian province of Kosovo is unlikely.

Fiti told the EBRD's meeting in Kyiv that pressure on Belgrade from the European Union, the United States and international financial institutions will keep tensions between Serbs and ethnic Albanians from growing.

"The people and the international institutions have already had an experience with civil war in the former Yugoslavia."

However, Fiti said the tensions in Kosovo are causing economic problems for his country. He said a flood of Kosovo refugees puts a financial burden on Skopje, and that regional instability linked to the Kosovo question is discouraging potential foreign investment. Nevertheless, Fiti said Skopje still expects Gross Domestic Product to grow by at least five percent this year.

Fiti said there are no serious tensions between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians in his country.