Russia rejects UN draft resolution on Kosovo's future status
Russia has rejected the latest UN draft resolution on Kosovo, calling it a hidden attempt to achieve independence for the province.Updated: Jul 17, 2007, 16:08 IST
Russia has rejected the latest UN draft resolution on Kosovo, calling it a hidden attempt to achieve independence for the province despite vehement opposition from its Serb minority.
The sponsors of the resolution - the United States and European Union nations - called the draft circulated last week the "final attempt" to reach an agreement on core issues with Moscow, which has strong cultural ties to Serbia.
Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin all but said on Monday that Moscow would veto the resolution if the sponsors call for a vote, saying the chances of its adoption "are zero.'
France's UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said the sponsors would consult with their capitals on the next steps. The options include dropping the resolution, revising it again to try to address Russia's concerns or calling for a vote.
A meeting of top diplomats from the so-called Contact Group on Kosovo - consisting of the US, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Russia - is expected to take place on July 25 in Berlin, according to Security Council diplomats.
There is widespread concern in the Security Council and the region that the province's ethnic Albanian leaders could declare independence unilaterally if the council does not approve a path to independence.
While Kosovo remains a province of Serbia, it has been under UN and NATO administration since a 78-day NATO-led air war that halted a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999.