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Yugoslavia: NATO Troops Arrive In Pristina

Pristina/Brussels, 12 June 1999 (RFE/RL) - NATO forces arrived this afternoon at the outskirts of the Kosovo capital Pristina and Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark told a NATO briefing in Brussels that NATO forces are now at the airport west of the capital. Thousands of NATO troops and armored vehicles poured into Kosovo this morning from the Macedonian border as Serbian forces withdrew under an agreement earlier this week between NATO and Yugoslav generals. The forces advancing on Pristina will be met by a contingent of 200 Russian troops who arrived in the city overnight from Bosnia.

Clark said Russia had broken an agreement with NATO by moving the contingent, originally attached to the NATO-led SFOR force, from Bosnia to Kosovo. Clark said the relocation of the troops and the lack of notification was "not in keeping" with established agreements.

Clark said NATO is working with the Russians to see they are properly deployed within a unified command. He said it wasn't clear which incident led the Russian troops to advance in the first place.

In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry says talks between U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on the composition of the Kosovo peacekeepoing force have broken off without conclusive results. Talbott met through the night with Ivanov and Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev on ways to unify the command structure. Talks are set to resume tomorrow.