April 3, 2007 -- The United Nations Security Council is scheduled today to start debate on a proposal that would lead to internationally supervised independence for Serbia's province of Kosovo.
The session is due to be attended by Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who is expected to reiterate Belgrade's opposition to the plan put forward by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari.
Kostunica has said Serbia is hopeful that Russia, a veto-holding member of the Security Council, will enable Serbia to maintain its territorial integrity.
Russia has not said whether it will use its Security Council veto on the proposal. Moscow has backed further talks between Serbians and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority, even though neither side has so far shown signs of possible compromise.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried on April 2 warned of the possibility of chaos and violence in Kosovo if the proposal is not accepted by the Security Council. Fried said the "status quo in Kosovo is not sustainable."
The territory has been run by the UN and NATO-led peacekeepers since the 1999 NATO air war ended a Serbian crackdown on ethnic-Albanian separatists.
(compiled from agency reports)