Russia to call on UN mission to annul Kosovo independence 2008-02-18 23:22:56   Print

    MOSCOW, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russia is to demand the UN mission in Kosovo annul the declaration of the province's independence, the Itar-Tass news agency said on Monday, citing a foreign ministry official.

    Russia will press, through the channels of UN Security Council and its mechanisms, for the leadership of the UN mission in Kosovoto annul the declaration of the province's independence, said Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko, deputy director of the Foreign Ministry's third European department in charge of Balkan countries.

    "We are attentively watching the developments in Kosovo. So far they have been proving the correctness of our forecasts and the situation there remains explosive," Itar-Tass quoted him as saying.

    The diplomat said that Russia is waiting for a meeting of the UN Security Council, whose Resolution 1244 remains in effect despite the fact that Pristina has violated it.

    "The Security Council should assess the declaration of Kosovo's independence as an unlawful act in accordance with Resolution 1244and the UN Charter," the diplomat said.

    He said that the convocation of an emergency session of the UN Security Council is the first of a series of steps prepared by Russia in response to the unilateral declaration of Kosovo's independence.

    The UN Security Council will convene in order to discuss the situation and it will be the most serious discussion of the situation in Pristina in detail, the diplomat said.

    "This is the first stage that brings us closer to decisions or lack thereof," he added.

    "We will try to reverse the situation in the resolution channel," he said, adding that Russia supports Belgrade's demand to restore the country's territorial integrity.

    Botsan-Kharchenko also noted that Russia will not change its position on this issue, "the position of Moscow is based not on the considerations of short-term expediency, but on legal norms of the world and we do not want them to change."

    "Our choice is support for the sovereignty of Serbia and the declaration of Pristina's act as unlawful," he said.

    Kosovo had been run by the UN mission since 1999, after NATO launched airstrikes to drive out Serbian forces from the province.

    Kosovo's parliament officially declared independence from Serbia on Sunday with support from the United States and some European Union countries, sparking mixed response from the international community.

    Russia, which fears the province's independence sets a precedent for secessionist groups worldwide, condemned Kosovo's proclamation, and demanded an urgent UN Security Council meeting on the issue.

    Serbia, which sees the province as its cultural heartland, said it will never recognize the independence of Kosovo, and will seek legal and diplomatic means to annul the declaration.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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