Text of report in English by Macedonian state news agency MIA
Belgrade, 30 May: Kosovo is far from meeting the necessary standards, making the defining of its final status more difficult, Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski says in an interview with Belgrade monthly magazine in English language CorD .
International civil and military presence in Kosovo is needed for longer period of time, Crvenkovski says, adding that for Skopje peace, rule of law and stable institutions in Kosovo are more important than its status.
Preventing the spillover of Kosovo problems to neighbouring countries is even more important, Crvenkovski says.
"Fortunately it has not happened, but we should be extremely cautious. Therefore, I asked the Macedonian Government to introduce reciprocal visa regime and border control, responding to the UNMIK's [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] new measures in this respect," Crvenkovski says, adding that Macedonia must protect itself from the existing criminal groups.
Macedonia approves the model for Belgrade-Pristina-international community talks for finding mutually acceptable solution for Kosovo, Crvenkovski says.
"Macedonia is neither part of the problem nor part of a solution to this last open issue in the region," he says, adding that closing of this matter must not lead to new destabilization of the region.
"In that respect, the completion of a demarcation of our border with Serbia-Montenegro, on the Kosovo part, before defining of the province's final status is Macedonia's priority," Crvenkovski says.
Source: MIA news agency, Skopje, in English 1416 gmt 30 May 05