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Kosovo unilateral independence could cause chain reaction - Lavrov says

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If Albanian-dominated Kosovo proclaims independence from Serbia, a chain reaction could be set in motion around the globe, Russia’s foreign minister said Tuesday.

“I do not see how granting Kosovo unilateral independence will stabilize the situation in Europe,” Sergei Lavrov told a news briefing after talks with his French counterpart. “It is more likely to cause a chain reaction on the continent and around the world. Russia would like to prevent such a scenario knowing that other countries also want the same.”

Serbian officials are meeting with the troika of mediators in London Tuesday to discuss the differences with the province’s Albanian majority, which has sought sovereignty and declined Belgrade’s broad autonomy proposals. In late September, they will hold direct talks with ethnic Albanian leaders in New York. The diplomatic troika, which is part of the Kosovo Contact Group responsible for a new round of talks between Belgrade and Pristina, will also meet with Albanians Wednesday.

The group, comprising the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany and Russia, is to coordinate a final status for Kosovo, a UN protectorate since NATO’s bombing campaign ended a conflict between Serb forces and Muslim Albanian separatists in 1999. Lavrov said the UN Security Council would resume the Kosovo debate December 10, but added no deadlines for a solution should be set. (rian.ru)

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