Kosovo precedent for 200 territories有avrov

MOSCOW -- Recognition of Kosovo's unilateral independence would set a precedent for some 200 territories, Sergei Lavrov says.

The chief of Russian diplomacy was speaking in a news conference in Moscow Wednesday.

He stressed that the Russian leadership never made statements that, in the event of the recognition of the independence of Kosovo, it would recognize Abhazia and South Ossetia.

According to Lavrov, a precedent would not be created because Russia "wants or does not want that," rather, such development would be objectively created for various disputed regions around the world.

"A precedent is objectively created not just for South Ossetia and Abhazia but also for an estimated 200 territories around the world. If someone is allowed to do something, many others will expect similar treatment," Lavrov said.

Asked what Russia would do if Kosovo became independent, Lavrov said it was a "defeatist position."

He added everything should be done to resolve the status of Kosovo within the framework of international law and on the basis of OSCE principles of inviolability of borders, accompanied by a mutual agreement of the interested sides.

"Everything else is illegal and we cannot accept that," Lavrov explained.

He said that Russia "understood very well the destabilizing effect of all separatist processes" and that it was in its interest to preserve stability, not to allow separatism and the violation of international law.

"That will be our position," the Russian foreign minister said.