October 22, 2006 -- Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has expressed confidence that Russia and China will block any attempts by the UN to grant independence to the province of Kosovo.
Kostunica is quoted by the "Vecernje Novosti" daily as saying that in particular Russia's stand is "very clear" in realizing that independence for the ethnic-Albanian majority in Kosovo would not be a suitable solution.
President Putin at a Kremlin meeting in April (epa)
PUTIN SPEAKS OUT: During a January press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there is a need for "universal principles" to settle "frozen" conflicts in the CIS. His comments came against the background of impending talks on the future status of Kosovo, which many predict will grant it a form of "conditional independence" from Serbia and Montenegro. As an ally of Serbia, Moscow has consistently opposed the idea of Kosovar independence. Putin's remarks suggest he may be shifting his position, but only if the principles applied to Kosovo are also applied to frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. If Kosovo can be granted full independence, he asked, why should we deny the same to Abkhazia and South Ossetia? (more)