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Premier Says Independent Kosovo Would Harm Stability

16 April 2005 -- Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica says Kosovo should be granted what he called "extended autonomy," but that a fully independent Kosovo would threaten Balkan stability.

Kostunica told the "Vecernje Novosti" daily that Serbia rejects any notion that Kosovo could become an independent country, as urged by majority ethnic Albanians there.

Kosovo remains part of Serbia and Montenegro but has been administered by the United Nations and NATO since 1999. The province's future status is expected to be determined at negotiations due to start later this year.

Ethnic Albanian politicians in Kosovo have in the past rejected any proposition for Kosovo that falls short of full independence.