4. June 2008 - 10:32
"The last Serbs are being driven out from Kosovo. I know what the situation is like there.There are no refugees coming back to Kosovo. And you can't guarantee them security and a civilized existence on that territory'', Vladimir Putin said in an interview to " Le Monde'', in occasion of his first visit to France as Prime Minister.
Mr. Putin reacted to a question related to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which the journalist called "separatis regions", by saying: "You said separatist? Why didn't you use this word about Kosovo?" "You cannot answer, and this is because you do not have an answer," Putin continued.
When the journalist remarked that "in Abkhazia, it was the Georgians who had been ethnically cleansed, while in Kosovo, the situation was quite the opposite since it was the Albanians that were exposed to this practice", Putin answered that the two things were "not at all opposite" and that "thousands of Serbs can't return to Kosovo. Hundreds of thousands. It's exactly the same. Where did you see refugees coming back to Kosovo? Nothing similar is happening" he continued. "Don't tell me stories, I know what is really going on there."