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UN talks on Kosovo to go ahead despite U.S., U.K. objections

RIA Novosti

11/03/2008 09:37 UNITED NATIONS, March 11 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's delegation to the United Nations Security Council successfully blocked British and American attempts to thwart a council meeting set for Tuesday on Kosovo, a diplomatic source in the UN said.

The meeting on the predominantly Albanian province of Serbia, which declared its independence on February 17, was proposed by Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin, the current president of the Security Council.

The UN diplomat told RIA Novosti that the U.S. and British delegations had objected to plans for Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic to address the council. However, they later backed down.

Russia, Serbia's traditional ally, led international opposition to Kosovo's independence, and has refused to recognize the Republic of Kosovo.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Churkin said that since the independence declaration, "we can see that in many ways the situation is developing along the wrong path. Relations between Kosovo Serbs and Albanians are very difficult. Major complications are arising due to attempts to obstruct the work of the UN mission in Kosovo."

Serbia's government collapsed on Saturday when nationalist Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said he refused to govern alongside the Democratic Party, led by President Boris Tadic, over the party's insistence on pursuing membership in the European Union despite several EU states' recognition of Kosovo's independence.

Serbia's caretaker government asked the president on Monday to dissolve parliament and call a new general election.

Since Kosovo declared its independence, the United States and 18 of the 27 EU states have recognized the Republic of Kosovo. However, Russia, China, Spain, Cyprus and several other countries have refused to recognize the province's independence.

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