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Russia to veto UN draft on Kosovo independence

Russia will veto any decision by the United Nations Security Council that provides for the unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s independence, a senior Russian diplomat has said.

„If the situation continues to develop in line with unilateral scenarios, this could lead to further destabilization in the region and fuel separatist attitudes in many other regions of the world. We will not be able to accept any similar decision by the UN Security Council,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko on Monday.

Kosovo, a Serbian province under UN administration since 1999, has been seeking independence with support from the United States and most of the European Union nations, but Serbia only agrees to offer broad autonomy and Russia is asking for further negotiations. Kosovo Albanian leaders have said there is no point in further talks with Serbia and they are ready to declare independence before May.

The UN Security Council discussed the Kosovo issue last Wednesday but failed to find a compromise over the future status of Kosovo. Yakovenko slammed a UN special envoy’s proposal drafted last spring that backs the independence of Kosovo. „In fact the UN Security Council was invited to make a decision to split a sovereign state, which ignores international law and runs counter to the UN Charter and Resolution 1244,” he told a press conference.

Moscow believes that there is still the possibility of achieving a negotiated solution, given that the international community proceeds with impartial mediation, he said. (