( RIA Novosti ) - The status of Kosovo can only be settled on the basis of international law and with the consent of both Belgrade and Pristina, Russia's foreign minister said on Thursday.
" Russia and Serbia have identical positions on the issue. We do not see any alternative to negotiations based on international law in deciding Kosovo's status. There should be no preconceived schemes," Sergei Lavrov said after a meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic.
At last week's parliamentary elections in the predominantly Albanian province, the pro-independence Democratic Party gained a landslide victory. However, Russia criticized the elections, which were boycotted by ethnic Serbs, saying the polls had merely served to complicate negotiations with Belgrade.
Lavrov said that only the United Nations should decide Kosovo's status, and that the solution should be acceptable to both parties.
Vuk Jeremic warned that the lack of a compromise on Kosovo could have dire consequences for the region.
"Only a solution based on compromise will help strengthen peace and stability in the Balkans," he said, adding that the setting of any artificial obstacles would prove counterproductive.
Serbia is ready to show flexibility and a constructive approach, but any solution should be approved by the UN Security Council, he said.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that if Kosovo unilaterally declared independence it would lead to a dangerous escalation of tensions in the Balkans.
Another round of negotiations on the status of Kosovo is underway in Brussels between Serb and Kosovo Albanian leaders, mediated by diplomats from the European Union, the United States and Russia.
The UN set December 10 as a deadline for an agreement, but negotiations have so far stalled with Belgrade offering broad autonomy to Kosovo, and Pristina insisting on full sovereignty.
Kosovo has been a UN protectorate ever since NATO's bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999 ended a bloody war between Serb forces and Muslim Albanian separatists in the region.