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Russian Foreign Minister Arrives In Belgrade

Sergei Lavrov (file photo) (official site) 6 November 2005 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived in Belgrade, the first stop on an official visit to Serbia and Montenegro.

Lavrov is expected to meet with top Serbian leaders tomorrow in the capital before traveling to Serbia's Kosovo
Province to meet with leaders there.

The Russian foreign minister's visit comes with preparations under way for the start of United Nations-sponsored talks on the future status of Kosovo. The UN Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent member, endorsed the start of the Kosovo talks in October.

Serb leaders have ruled out allowing Kosovo to become independent, as is sought by members of the province's ethnic
Albanian majority. Kosovo has been under UN administration since the 1999 NATO air war to halt a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanians.