OSLO, April 27 (Xinhua) -- NATO foreign ministers want a prompt UN Security Council resolution on the final status of Kosovo based on UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari's proposals, said NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Friday.
"The (NATO) allies believe that time, after eight years, has come for a decision on the issue," de Hoop Scheffer told reporters.
He said the international community faces a choice between a controlled process in which a UN Security Council resolution is adopted in a timely manner to provide a legal basis for the independence of Kosovo, and an uncontrolled process with unpredictable risks.
NATO allies want the first option, he said, adding that delay in the UN Security Council would not help in solving the issue.
De Hoop Scheffer said in Friday morning's discussions, there was general support among the NATO foreign ministers for Ahtisaari's plan, believing that it is the only realistic way forward.
He said the NATO forces in Kosovo is fully prepared for all scenarios. The 16,000-strong NATO forces, known as KFOR, is ready to face scenarios in the Serbian province, he said.
But he warned against any unilateral action, either by Serbia, which is opposed to Kosovo independence, or the ethnic Albanians, who are impatient with the time-consuming process in the UN Security Council.
"Violence cannot be the answer to anything. KFOR will not tolerate violence," he said.
NATO spokesman James Appathurai said earlier Friday that NATO allies would engage Russia to prevent a possible Russian veto of Ahtisaari's plan. He said a UN Security Council resolution based on Ahtisaari's proposals is in the fundamental interests of all 26NATO countries.
Kosovo was put under UN administration in 1999 after NATO air strikes drove out Serbian troops. Ahtisaari's plan, which opens way for ultimate independence for Kosovo, triggered fears that there would be chain reaction in its own breakaway regions.
NATO ministers wanted the issue of Kosovo to be a major topic of Thursday's NATO-Russia Council with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. But Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement that his country was suspending obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty dominated discussions.
As a result, Kosovo was only briefly mentioned at the meeting, said Appathurai.
The ministers also discussed enlargement on Friday morning. In particular, they assessed progress made by Albania, Croatia and Macedonia.
The ministers believe that these aspirant countries need to continue their reforms until the next NATO summit to be held in Bucharest.
"NATO's door is open to these countries which are able to meet our performance-based standards. No tickets have been punched, or are being punched. Performance is the key," said de Hoop Scheffer.
Formal invitations for accession talks are expected to be issued at the Bucharest summit.