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Serbia accuses NATO, US of creating satellite state in Kosovo

Serbia on Wednesday accused NATO and the United States of attempts to create a barrack-style satellite state in the southern breakaway province of Kosovo, said reports from Belgrade.

“NATO and the United States should give up the project to create a satellite barrack-state in a foreign land at a moment when we are opening new negotiations on the future status of Kosovo,” said Slobodan Samardzic, Serbia’s minister for Kosovo. That kind of Kosovo state would only serve the interests of NATO and the United States, safeguard the gains of the mafia clans in the province, and permanently prevent a peaceful and prosperous future for the local people, Samardzic said. “The project has nothing to do with either the economic recovery of Kosovo or the reconciliation between Serbs and Albanians, and least of all with for this part to be integrated into Europe in the future,” Serbia’s official news agency Tanjug quoted Samardzic as saying.

Kosovo has been run by the UN and NATO since 1999. Ethnic Albanians, who make up 90% of the province’s 2 million population, are demanding independence while the Serbians and the Serbs in Kosovo want it to remain within Serbia. In March, UN special envoy Martin Ahtisaari submitted a draft plan, which envisions internationally supervised independence for Kosovo, to the UN Security Council. The plan, supported by the United States and many other Western countries, was strongly opposed by Serbia and Russia, which wields a powerful veto in the UN Security Council.

Last week, envoys from the EU, the US and Russia that form the so-called Kosovo-troika, made a 120-day effort to break the impasse over Kosovo. They planned to launch a new negotiation over the issue in Vienna at the end of this August. (peopledaily.com.cn)