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Russia Says Serbian Backing Key To Kosovo Status --> (RFE/RL) January 16, 2007 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today Russia will back a decision on the future status of Kosovo only if Serbia supports it.

The ethnic-Albanian majority of the Serbian province is seeking independence, which Serbia rejects.

A proposal on Kosovo's future by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari is expected to imply the creation of an independent state under European Union supervision.

Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, holds the key to whether the proposal is approved.


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.


Listen to the entire briefing (about 45 minutes):
Real Audio Windows Media


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RFE/RL's coverage of Kosovo and Russia.


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