Russia rejects latest Kosovo draft
Source: Beta, AP, Interfax
MOSCOW, HELSINKI -- Russia has rejected the fifth U.S.-EU sponsored draft UN resolution on the future Kosovo status.
Beta news agency reports from Moscow that Russian Foreign Minster Sergei Lavrov described the proposed resolution as in essence being the same as previous drafts, based on the same status plan for the province’s supervised independence backed by Western countries.
"The problem of a decision on the independence of Kosovo has not been taken off the agenda," Lavrov told journalists Thursday.
Lavrov added that behind the diplomatic rhetoric lay a conclusion that UN Kosovo Envoy Martti Ahtisaari’s plan should be implemented if the proposed 120 days of renewed talks between Belgrade and Priština failed to produce a compromise.
Earlier Thursday, Russia indicated it will need "several days" to study the draft, according to a foreign ministry official's statement.
"We have received a new draft resolution, and our experts are carefully studying it now. There is no need to hurry here.”
“What matters most is not the speed but the quality of analysis," Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Krivtsov told Interfax.
He added that "several days are needed to study the document."
In a bid to win Russian support, Western nations revised a resolution to call for four months of intensive negotiations between Priština and Belgrade without any promise of independence if talks fail, according to a text obtained Wednesday.
Russia had dismissed the previous draft as unacceptable.
The now defunct version also called for four months of negotiations between the two sides on the province's future status but would have authorized an automatic road to independence if there was no agreement, unless the UN Security Council decided otherwise.
“Latest draft: last attempt to win Russia over”
The latest U.S.-EU sponsored draft resolution is the limit to which the West is ready to stretch its concessions toward Moscow.
The draft in question that currently circulates in the UN Security Council does not mention the status of Kosovo, while Serbia’s sovereignty over the province confirmed in the UN Resolution 1244 remains the most debatable issue, Priština daily Koha Ditore writes in its Thursday edition.
The newspaper quoted its diplomatic sources at the United Nations as saying that the EU and U.S. devised the document so as to win over Russia’s support.
“We gave our maximum and we all agree that, should this draft fail as well, other steps have to be taken.”
“However, we are still optimistic that the agreement with Russia over the latest draft can be reached,” the sources said.
They added that Ahtisaari’s blueprint would remain Plan B if the talks between Belgrade and Priština proved fruitless.
According to them, Moscow’s reaction is what everyone is now awaiting. Nonetheless, Koha’s sources said that Russia already gave a tacit consent for the replacement of the UN mission in Kosovo with that of the EU.
Ahtisaari: Russia weakening its position by Kosovo stance
Russia would diminish its international stature by blocking negotiations over Kosovo's future status, the UN envoy overseeing the talks said in an interview published Thursday.
"It is too small an issue to give Russia a possibility to stress its power. Rather than strengthening its international position, Russia only weakens it by this," UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari told Finnish newspaper Lansi-Savo.
In April, Ahtisaari recommended Kosovo be granted internationally supervised independence—a proposal supported by the province's ethnic Albanians, but rejected by Serbia and its traditional ally Russia.
In a bid to win Russian support, Western nations have revised a UN resolution to call for intensive negotiations between Kosovo's ethnic Albanians and Serbs without a promise of independence if talks fail.
Earlier Thursday veto-wielding Russia said it needed time to study the new UN draft solution.
"Now it [Russia] can cause the UN real problems unless the Security Council is able to come to a clear conclusion," Ahtisaari was quoted as saying.
"In that case, the situation would become very difficult to handle in all respects."
Ahtisaari dismissed concerns that the province's ethnic Albanian leaders could declare independence unilaterally if the council did not approve a path to independence.
"I don't think they really consider that. Independence must take place in a coordinated way," Ahtisaari said.
četvrtak 12.07.2007 | 18:39 | Source: FoNet, BIRN | Comments: (10) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Oliver Ivanović says the best solution for Kosovo is found between independence and the pre-1999 status.
četvrtak 12.07.2007 | 17:48 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (42) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Bernard Kouchner is in Belgrade for talks with top Serbian officials, including his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremić.
četvrtak 12.07.2007 | 10:48 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The fourth technical round of Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) talks wil be held in Belgrade.
četvrtak 12.07.2007 | 09:53 | Source: B92 | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- German Ambassador to Serbia Andreas Zobel will leave his post before his tenure expires, B92 has learned.
četvrtak 12.07.2007 | 09:43 | Source: FoNet, Blic | Comments: (4) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Presidential elections will likely be held in October, if the UN approved a new round of Kosovo talks.
sreda 11.07.2007 | 18:16 | Source: B92, Beta, Interfax | Comments: (6) | Send comment
MOSCOW, PARIS -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy had a telephone conversation on Wednesday.
sreda 11.07.2007 | 17:13 | Source: AP | Comments: (31) | Send comment
BRUSSELS, STRASBOURG -- Agim Ceku urged the EU Wednesday to sidestep the UN Security Council on the issue of Kosovo's future status.
sreda 11.07.2007 | 16:20 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
VIENNA -- Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Zdravko Ponoš presented the army’s reorganization at the OSCE headquarters in Vienna Wednesday.
sreda 11.07.2007 | 15:19 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (47) | Send comment
NEW YORK, BELGRADE -- Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica said Serbia decisively rejected a new draft resolution proposed by the U.S. and EU.
sreda 11.07.2007 | 12:44 | Source: Beta | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The 10th meeting of Serbian and NATO Defense-Reform Group opened today in Belgrade.
sreda 11.07.2007 | 11:58 | Source: Beta | Comments: (27) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The UK still believes the Ahtisaari plan for Kosovo is the best foundation, British Ambassador Stephen Wordsworth told Beta.
sreda 11.07.2007 | 11:21 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian Parliament has scheduled a session for July 24 to discuss the Kosovo status situation.
utorak 10.07.2007 | 18:38 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (41) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried met with President Boris Tadić in Belgrade Tuesday.
utorak 10.07.2007 | 18:04 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (2) | Send comment
PAČENO BRDO -- Defense and police chiefs Dragan Šutanovac and Dragan Jočić visited the ground security zone in the south of Serbia.
utorak 10.07.2007 | 14:53 | Source: B92, Beta, Reuters | Comments: (25) | Send comment
BRUSSELS -- Javier Solana and Ban Ki-moon have called on Priština and Belgrade not to make any unilateral moves.
utorak 10.07.2007 | 14:28 | Source: ITAR-TASS | Comments: (12) | Send comment
MOSCOW -- Bosnia’s ambassador to Russia says Kosovo’s status should be determined through talks between Belgrade and Priština.
utorak 10.07.2007 | 11:52 | Source: B92, SNA | Comments: (4) | Send comment
SOFIA -- Serbian and Bulgarian defense ministers signed a military cooperation agreement in Sofia Monday.
utorak 10.07.2007 | 11:02 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (23) | Send comment
LISBON, NEW YORK -- Consultations on Kosovo and a debate on an UNMIK report were held at the UN Security Council Monday.
ponedeljak 9.07.2007 | 18:56 | Source: B92, Beta, The Financial Times | Comments: (9) | Send comment
NEW YORK, BELGRADE, LONDON -- The United Nations Security Council will discuss UNMIK Chief Joakim Ruecker’s most recent Kosovo report Monday.
ponedeljak 9.07.2007 | 18:53 | Source: B92 | Comments: (45) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried met Monday with ethnic Albanian leaders in Priština.
ponedeljak 9.07.2007 | 15:47 | Source: FoNet | Comments: (10) | Send comment
MEDVEĐA -- Medveđa Mayor Slobodan Drašković has lodged a protest against the local police in the southern Serbian municipality.
ponedeljak 9.07.2007 | 11:49 | Source: B92 | Comments: (0) | Send comment
LJUBLJANA -- Vojvodina Executive Council President Bojan Pajtić begins a two day visit to Slovenia today.
ponedeljak 9.07.2007 | 11:48 | Source: Beta, Reuters | Comments: (21) | Send comment
BISHKEK -- Any Kosovo resolution that is unacceptable to Serbia will not succeed in the UN, Sergei Lavrov said Monday.
ponedeljak 9.07.2007 | 09:39 | Source: B92 | Comments: (2) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Hundreds of young leftists from all over Europe have a gathered in Belgrade this year for the School of Democracy.
nedelja 8.07.2007 | 17:21 | Source: Beta | Comments: (11) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Should Kosovo declare independence, the Serbian military would follow orders, the army chief says.
nedelja 8.07.2007 | 17:13 | Source: Beta | Comments: (22) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- NATO and EU circles are reportedly worried over a paralysis in the Kosovo status settlement process.
nedelja 8.07.2007 | 13:32 | Source: Beta | Comments: (1) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić will pay an official visit to Montenegro’s capital Podgorica Monday.
nedelja 8.07.2007 | 10:10 | Source: Beta | Comments: (20) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Only with Kosovo within its borders could Serbia join the EU, Minister for Kosovo Slobodan Samardžić says.
nedelja 8.07.2007 | 10:01 | Source: Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Tanja Miščević has said Saturday Serbia’s goal was to initial the SAA with the EU this fall and sign it by the end of 2007.
subota 7.07.2007 | 16:26 | Source: AFP | Comments: (41) | Send comment
DUBROVNIK -- Daniel Fried has called on Serbia Saturday to give up on Kosovo and choose a future within the EU instead.
subota 7.07.2007 | 12:31 | Source: Beta | Comments: (23) | Send comment
PRIŠTINA -- Priština's negotiating team launched a diplomatic offensive aimed at setting a deadline for Kosovo’s status settlement.
subota 7.07.2007 | 11:14 | Source: Beta | Comments: (14) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Dragan Šutanovac believes it will be damaging to cut off relations with the U.S. and NATO even if Kosovo attained independence.
subota 7.07.2007 | 10:37 | Source: Beta | Comments: (18) | Send comment
NEW YORK -- The United Nations Security Council will discuss Kosovo Monday when the UNMIK report is due to be presented.
petak 6.07.2007 | 20:11 | Source: FoNet, Beta | Comments: (8) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- According the latest survey, most of those who believe Serbia should engage in war over Kosovo are housewives and pensioners.
petak 6.07.2007 | 18:22 | Source: B92 | Comments: (8) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica said Friday Serbia was “fully prepared to take part in new talks on Kosovo”.
petak 6.07.2007 | 18:22 | Source: Beta, RFE | Comments: (10) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- President Boris Tadić and European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso hope Serbia might ink the SAA by year’s end.
petak 6.07.2007 | 18:15 | Source: FoNet, Beta, Reuters, AP | Comments: (23) | Send comment
WASHINGTON, BELGRADE, NEW YORK, PODGORICA -- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Sean McCormack said that the UN is still working on a draft for the Kosovo resolution.
petak 6.07.2007 | 12:33 | Source: Interfax | Comments: (11) | Send comment
MOSCOW -- International community should choose a model for Kosovo to apply to other frozen conflicts, a Russian official says.
petak 6.07.2007 | 10:45 | Source: AP | Comments: (14) | Send comment
NEW YORK -- The UN secretary-general has warned progress towards democracy in Kosovo could "unravel" if its future status is not decided.
petak 6.07.2007 | 10:30 | Source: B92, Beta | Comments: (0) | Send comment
BELGRADE -- The Serbian Parliament is to debate Kosovo and the state negotiating team’s report before its summer recess.