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UN's Kosovo Envoy Rejects Russian Call For More Talks


(RFE/RL) March 19, 2007 -- The United Nations' mediator on Kosovo today rejected a Russian call for more talks between Belgrade and ethnic Albanians on the province's future.

Remi Dourlot, spokesman for mediator Martti Ahtisaari, said talks between the two parties had already been "exhausted" in Vienna.

His statement came as Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, stormed out of a Security Council meeting on Kosovo today, accusing the head of the UN administration in Kosovo, Joachim Ruecker, of "preaching independence."

Ahtisaari last week forwarded his plan for "supervised independence" for Kosovo to the UN Security Council, having declared an end to 13 months of fruitless talks between the two sides.

(Reuters, AFP)
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.


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