U.S., Russia view Kosovo issue resolution differently Russian foreign minister

Other News Materials 3 February 2007 14:21 (UTC +04:00)

(www.rian.ru) вЂ" Views of Russia and the United States on the resolution of the Kosovo issue are principal in nature, the Russian foreign minister said Saturday.

Russia has been repeatedly saying that a decision on independence of Serbia's predominantly Albanian Kosovo region should satisfy both Kosovar and Serbian authorities and must be made through negotiations, while the U.S. has been pushing for the resolution of the issue through the UN Security Council saying the region should be granted some form of independence, reports Trend.

"Kosovo is the issue, which in comparison with Iran, Iraq and the Middle East [issues], has principal differences in our positions. So far we have no common vision on the resolution of this issue," Sergei Lavrov said upon his return to Moscow from Washington, where he attended the meeting of the Quartet of Middle East mediators comprising the United Nations, Russia, the European Union and the United States.

The Russian minister said the possible variant of the resolution should satisfy both Pristina and Belgrade but the United States has a different view of the issue saying that it would be wrong to linger and resolve the issue within the UN Security Council, which is expected to vote on a final draft resolution on Kosovo in March.

On Friday United Nations envoy Martti Ahtisaari met with Serbian President Boris Tadic to discuss plans for Serbia and Kosovo, which were interpreted by both sides as suggesting a division of the territories, and foreseeing eventual independence for Kosovo. Following the meeting Tadic said Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence.

Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council and a traditional ally of Belgrade, has repeatedly said that sovereignty for the UN-administered Serbian province of Kosovo could have negative consequences for unresolved conflicts in the former Soviet Union that erupted in the early 1990s.

Last November, thousands of Kosovar Albanians attacked the UN headquarters in the capital, Pristina, over a delayed decision on their demand for independence. The region has been a UN protectorate since NATO's military campaign against Belgrade to end a war between Serb forces and Albanian separatists in 1999.