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Russia Says Kosovo Plan 'Will Fail' --> Lavrov (file photo) (Council of Europe) March 29, 2009 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the UN envoy on Kosovo "will fail" if he pursues his current plan for the province.

Lavrov today accused Martti Ahtisaari of "ignoring" the position of Serbia, which has rejected his plan that would give Kosovo internationally supervised independence.

"This problem can't be solved without taking into account the positions of the two conflicting sides, Belgrade and Pristina. Ahtisaari has decided to ignore them, but I think he will fail," Lavrov said.

Moscow has insisted that any solution must be agreeable to Serbia as well as Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.

Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, has stepped up its opposition to Ahtisaari's plan ahead of a debate in the council next month.

(Interfax, 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.


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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