Serbia looks to UN in last-ditch effort to stop Kosovo independence

Other News Materials 13 February 2008 13:17 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Serbia called for an urgent meeting of United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, in a last ditch effort to block the leaders of its breakaway province of Kosovo from declaring unilateral independence.

Serbian UN ambassador Pavle Jevremevic said Kosovo is facing an "extremely dangerous situation" which could "compromise international peace and security."

Serbia's stance is based on the fact that a declaration of independence by Kosovo's leaders would violate the UN resolution which cemented the presence of a UN administration and NATO peacekeeping forces in the province after bloody conflicts between ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb forces ended in 1999.

Russia announced that it would support Serbia's initiative for calling a Security Council meeting and has backed Serbia throughout the process, blocking Kosovo independence with its right of veto within the Security Council.

However, United States and European Union officials are less likely to support the request, since the US and the majority of the EU support a plan of internationally-supervised independence for the province.

Serbia, which in earlier negotiations offered widespread autonomy for Kosovo while maintaining sovereignty over the province, called for the UN Security Council meeting to be held on Thursday.

Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanian population has been growing weary of waiting and demands nothing short of independence. Its leaders are expected to declare independence as soon as Sunday.