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Russia can only back mutually acceptable solution on Kosovo-Putin

RIA Novosti

10/02/2007 17:15 MUNICH, February 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will only support a solution to the Kosovo problem that is suitable to all parties involved, the Russian president said Saturday.

"Only the Kosovars and Serbs themselves may know what will happen in Kosovo," Vladimir Putin told an international security conference in Munich.

Consultations in Vienna between Belgrade and Pristina on the UN special envoy's proposals on Kosovo's future status have been postponed from February 13 to February 21, a deputy envoy said Friday.

United Nations envoy Martti Ahtisaari agreed to put off the talks on a request made on Monday by Serbian President Boris Tadic, requesting that Serbia hold the first session of parliament, elected January 21, in order to approve the new composition of a delegation to the Vienna talks, and Belgrade's new political platform.

Albert Rohan said he expected the talks to end in early March, after which an adjusted text of Ahtisaari's proposals on the status of Kosovo could be submitted to the UN Security Council.

Earlier this month, Ahtisaari unveiled his Kosovo settlement plan, containing an implicit proposal to give independence to the predominantly ethnic Albanian region, which has been a UN protectorate since 1999. Belgrade has rejected the plan, saying it is willing to grant Kosovo broad autonomy, but that it will never let the province secede from Serbia.

Russian officials have repeatedly said that if Kosovo is granted sovereignty, the international community should also recognize as independent the separatist regions in the former Soviet Union, notably Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Moldova's Transdnestr.

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