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U.S., EU Kosovo draft resolution unacceptable to Russia - envoy

RIA Novosti

11/05/2007 21:10 UN, May 11 (RIA Novosti) - A draft resolution on Kosovo sponsored by the EU and U.S. is unacceptable to Moscow, a deputy Russian representative to the UN said Friday.

The draft resolution calling for the independence of Yugolsavia's breakaway province was submitted by France, the U.K., Germany and the United States. Russia is categorically opposed to the independence plan.

"The draft is based on the Ahtisaari plan and is unacceptable to Russia," Konstantin Dolgov said, adding that no date for first consultations has been set yet.

"We hope that Russia's position will find support among other UN Security Council members," he said.

Russia's ambassador to the UN said Thursday that Russia has drafted its own Kosovo settlement plan.

"There are two documents on the table," Vitaly Churkin said, referring to the Russian plan and the one submitted by the U.S., France, the U.K. and Germany.

Russia insists that negotiations between the Serbs and the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo go on, and that ethnic minorities in the region are guaranteed reliable security.

The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, has said that the Kosovo issue should be resolved without delay, or else the region would experience growing instability. He said the Ahtisaari plan was not ideal, but that it could pave the way for Serbia and Kosovo's European integration.

Churkin said the Western plan cannot serve as a basis for a durable settlement.

Kosovo has been torn by ethnic tensions since 1999, when NATO troops moved in to stop what had been seen as ethnic cleansing of the predominantly Muslim Albanian population of the region by Serbs.

While the Albanians have since demanded full independence, the sizeable Orthodox Serb minority has complained that their lives and holy places would be at risk under the proposed setup.

Russia has repeatedly stated it will only support a deal respecting the interests of all parties concerned.

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