The early vote is seen as necessary after this week's adoption of a new constitution and after a decision earlier this year by Montenegro, Serbia's last partner from the former Yugoslavia, to declare independence.
Meanwhile, the United Nations said today it would postpone a decision on the future status of Kosovo until after Serbian parliamentary elections. UN special envoy Maarti Ahtisaari made the announcement, adding that a decision on Kosovo would be made "without delay" after the elections.
The majority ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo has been calling for independence from Serbia since NATO forces drove Serbian troops from the province in a 1999 bombing campaign. The province has been under UN administration since then.
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.
LISTENListen to the entire briefing (about 45 minutes):
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