Russisk deltakelse i KFOR og forholdet til NATO
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Russia strongly opposed NATO´s Operation Allied Force in 1999, and froze for some time the bilateral Russia-NATO relationship based upon the Founding Act signed by the two parties in 1997. Later on, however, Russia played a significant role as a mediator and thus contributed to a peaceful solution that finally ended the war. These efforts paved the way for the deployment of ground forces (KFOR) in Kosovo under the United Nation´s (UN´s) auspices. Since the deployment of KFOR in June 1999, Russia has participated with approximately 3500 soldiers, dispersed into the American, British, French and German sector. Since the Russian deployment, Russian soldiers have had to face a hostile oriented Albanian population, accusing them to have sided with the Serbs in the ethnic cleansing during the war. Russia has traditionally had a good relationship with the Serb population and Russian presence was perceived as vital. This report discusses the role played by Russia in the conflict as a negotiator and peacekeeper, but also the importance of the Russian participation in KFOR, the problems and challenges facing the Russian soldiers, and how they co-operate with their KFOR colleagues. The report also includes some views on how the relationship between NATO and Russia was affected by the conflict.