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Kostunica Seeks EU Support For Kosovo 'Cantonization' Plan

Brussels, 23 March 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Vojislav Kostunica, the prime minister of Serbia and Montenegro, said during a visit to Brussels today that he is looking for European Union support for a plan to decentralize power in Kosovo.

Speaking after a meeting with European Commission President Romano Prodi, Kostunica said the "cantonization" of Kosovo would provide guarantees for the rights of Serbs and other minorities.

"Actually, that idea is not new and it is not only something that originated in Serbia and Montenegro. [It] is an idea that for the first time [was] mentioned by the Council of Europe -- how through different forms of autonomy, decentralization, one may support [the] further democratization of Kosovo," Kostunica said.

He added that the plan would not affect Kosovo's final status.

EU spokeswoman Emma Udwin said the bloc has no formal position on the plan, but added the EU could not support anything that undermined the current UN administration in the province.

Kostunica's visit comes after violence in recent days between Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians and minority Serbs that resulted in the deaths of 28 people.