( RIA Novosti ) - A boycott by ethnic Serbs of recent parliamentary polls in Kosovo puts into question the legitimacy of the future authorities in the breakaway republic, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.
Kosovo held parliamentary elections November 17, which, according to unofficial results, were won by former rebel leader Hashim Thaci, who vowed to declare independence for Kosovo. The province's ethnic Serb population (around 6%) boycotted the election. "Undoubtedly, the question is, how politically legitimate the authorities can be without the ethnic Serb votes," Mikhail Kamynin said.
"Will they be able to cooperate constructively with the second largest ethnic minority in Kosovo? Without this cooperation there will be no stability or sustainable development in the region," the Russian diplomat said.
Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since NATO's long bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia ended a bloody war between Serb forces and Muslim Albanian separatists in 1999.
The U.S. and some EU states have pushed for Kosovo's independence, while Russia has strongly opposed this, saying that security and humanitarian requirements should be met first and that independence would set a dangerous precedent, including for post-Soviet states.
December 10 has been set as the deadline for the Contact group negotiating a solution on the predominantly Albanian province's status - Russia, the United States, and the four largest European Union members - to submit a report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
Meanwhile, another round of talks on the status of Kosovo, held on Tuesday in Brussels, resulted in failure to reach a compromise between Serbian and Kosovo Albanian leaders. The parties agreed to make another attempt to break a deadlock on the issue during three-day talks next week.