EU adopts Kosovo mission plan in urgent procedure

BRUSSELS -- The European Union adopted Monday a document to define its planned mission to Kosovo.

The document, dubbed Joint Action, which deals with the legal and financial bases for such a mission was adopted in urgent procedure in Brussels today, Tanjug news agency has learned from its sources with the EU.

The text of the document was first coordinated in the EU Policy and Security Committee and discussed at the EU ambassadors' level.

Last Friday, it was sent to the 27 EU member states for approval, with the deadline for responses expiring today at noon, after which the document is "considered to be adopted."

The content is likely to be revealed Friday, in the EU Official Gazette, the agency said.

Only a single formal step remains for an EU mission to sent to Kosovo to replace UNMIK there, and that is a decision by the Council of Ministers on the adoption of the Operative Plan, Tanjug's sources said.

The mission would be deployed only a day after the Operative Plan is adopted.

The most frequently mentioned date for this is Feb. 18, when the EU foreign ministers are due to meet.

On Dec. 14, the EU heads of state and government met at a summit in Brussels and passed a political decision on their intention to send a mission to Kosovo.

Serbia is strongly opposed to this, demanding a UN Security Council decision.

Belgrade considers the EU's planned move as the beginning of the implementation of Martti Ahtisaari's plan on Kosovo's supervised independence.

The Finnish diplomat's blueprint for the future status of the southern Serbian province was rejected at the UN on several occasions last spring.