( dpa ) - Russia would not recognize a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo, President President Vladimir Putin said Friday in Sofia.
Unlike the United States and most European Union countries that see the Kosovo talks between Belgrade and Pristina as failed and finished, Russia wants the negotiations to continue.
Kosovo leaders however also said that they were through talking with Belgrade and were preparing to declare independence from Serbia, possibly within weeks.
While the US and leading EU states plan to recognize Kosovo as a new country, Russia supports Serbia's claim over the province and has warned that the case could trigger a tidal wave of separatism.
Speaking to reporters in Sofia, where he was ending a two-day visit on Friday, Putin described the support of the unilateral declaration of independence in Kosovo as "illegal and immoral."
Russia has blocked Kosovo's independence in the United Nations last year.
Following the failure of another set of talks late in 2007, Kosovo Albanian leaders and the West said that only the unilateral declaration of independence and bilateral recognitions remained as an immediate option.