Tadic says Serbia unjustly punished, vows to fight on

Other News Materials 19 February 2008 01:06 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Serbian President Boris Tadic on Monday branded Kosovo's independence illegal and told the UN Security Council that his country has been punished for the UN's failure to stop Kosovo's declaration.

Tadic said Serbia was already punished in 1999 when NATO conducted a nearly three-months bombing campaign that drove Serbian security forces out of Kosovo, accused of atrocities against ethnic Albanians.

"Serbia is punished again now, deprived of part of its identity," Tadic said in an address to the council, one day after the Albanian-led government in Pristina and its national assembly declared independence.

Belgrade called the declaration null and void.

"Serbia will never renounce, or give up our legitimacy over Kosovo," he said.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in opening the council meeting that the situation in Kosovo remained calm despite two minor incidents in Kosovo's northern region of Mitrovica.

Ban said the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) might face difficulties in performing its duties because of the changing situation, which would require him to readjust the mission's mandate.

"It is my intention to act in an effective, realistic and concrete manner," Ban said. "I might have to adjust to developments and changes on the ground."