December 5, 2006 -- Russia has said it will use its UN Security Council veto to block any UN decision on the status of Kosovo that is not accepted by both Belgrade and Pristina.
Russia's ambassador to Serbia, Aleksandr Alekseyev, told the private B92 television channel Lon December 4 that if a proposed status solution is not acceptable for both sides, "the Russian side will use its right of veto."
Kosovo is a Serbian province under UN administration. Belgrade lost control of Kosovo in 1999 after a 78-day NATO bombing campaign halted a crackdown by Serbian forces against independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.
The Kremlin Looks At Kosovo...And Beyond
Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) greets Serbian President Boris Tadic in the Kremlin in November 2005 (TASS)
WILL THE KREMLIN BACK INDEPENDENCE? As the drive for independence grows in the Serbian province of Kosovo, the international community is speculating on how Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, will act. On September 22, Nicholas Whyte, director of the International Crisis Group's Europe Program, gave a briefing on the subject at RFE/RL's Washington, D.C., office. He speculated on what the Kremlin's "price" might be for agreeing to Kosovo's separation from Serbia.