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Yugoslavia: Kostunica Opens Talks With Putin

Moscow, 27 October 2000 (RFE/RL) - Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica has arrived in the Russian capital Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Kostunica said upon arrival that he plans to discuss a wide range of issues with Putin, including Yugoslavia's position in the world in the aftermath of the rule of former President Slobodan Milosevic. Kostunica said one of his main goals for Yugoslavia is to get the country cooperating with its Balkan neighbors, Russia, Western Europe, and the United States.

Kostunica proposed Russia resuming supplies of natural gas to Yugoslavia in exchange for Yugoslav goods. He also called for NATO to compensate Yugoslavia for damages caused by last year's bombing campaign during the Kosovo crisis.

Kostunica praised what he called the "historical and spiritual closeness" of the Russian and Yugoslav peoples.

Kostunica is accompanied on his trip to Moscow by Patriarch Pavle, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church.