( RIA Novosti ) - Russia's envoy to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said on Friday the OSCE will have to shut down its mission in Kosovo if the province declares its independence from Serbia.
"If in spite of categorical objections from Serbia, Russia, and many other members of the international community, Pristina goes ahead and proclaims independence unilaterally, the OSCE mission in Kosovo will have to be closed," Alexei Borodavkin said in an interview with Russia's Vremya Novostei daily, published on the Foreign Ministry's website.
The 56-nation OSCE, dominated by European countries, is involved in conflict prevention and post-conflict rehabilitation.
The Russian envoy said that in anticipation of such an outcome, "a decision has been made to extend the OSCE mission's mandate on a monthly basis."
Serbian President Boris Tadic urged the international community on Thursday to reject any unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian government.
" Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence and will preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty by democratic means, legal arguments, and diplomacy," Tadic said.
Meanwhile, Kosovo's newly elected Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said Pristina's independence was an accomplished fact and would be declared as soon as the United States and the European Union were ready to recognize it.
Most Western states back the volatile area's drive for independence, and recently agreed that Kosovo's status would be determined by the European Union and NATO. Russia insists that Belgrade and Pristina continue to seek a compromise.
The Security Council met late on Wednesday to review the work of the UN's interim mission in Kosovo, which has been deployed in the region since NATO's bombing of the former Yugoslavia ended a conflict between Albanian and Serb forces in 1999.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad said that the Security Council was in a deadlock over Kosovo's future status, and no longer had any role to play on the issue.