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Congratulation of Kostunica misinterpreted -Ivanov

BELGRADE, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on Friday he had not congratulated Vojislav Kostunica as Yugoslavia's new president, but rather for his victory in the September 24 elections.

``I would like to say that in the reports that appeared after my meeting with Mr Kostunica there were some imprecisions, I hope not deliberate,'' Ivanov said after meeting Kostunica and Slobodan Milosevic, still formally Yugoslav president.

``I did not congratulate Mr Kostunica with his election as president but congratulated him with his success, with his victory, in the elections,'' Ivanov told reporters in the Russian embassy in Belgrade.

Both the government and the opposition agree that Kostunica won the election, but disagree on whether he won the outright victory needed to avoid a runoff vote.

Ivanov said he had not discussed the disputed results of the elections with Milosevic, saying they were clear, but not specifying whether he supported the government or the opposition's version of the figures.

Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited. Reprinted for fair use only.

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