Russia supports the efforts to start a direct dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo, but the subject of such a dialogue should not be the status of Kosovo, Gennady Gatilov, first deputy of Russia's permanent representative in the UN, said on Friday at a meeting of the UN Security Council.
According to Gatilov, it was clearly stated at a recent meeting of the Contact Group in Moscow, which was attended by the chief of the UN Mission in Kosovo, that, in the opinion of all the main international participants in the peace settlement, any discussion on the future status of Kosovo at this stage would be premature. The participants said also that "any attempts to anticipate solution of this issue are unacceptable," Russia's representative said.
He stressed that most important in the efforts to normalize the situation in Kosovo is to apply the "standards before status" principle. In other words the basic democratic conditions should be provided in Kosovo at the first place.
The participants in the Security Council meeting expressed concern over the remaining tensions in Kosovo. They condemned the recent undisclosed murders of a few Serbs in the area. In the opinion of the UN Security Council member states, such facts have a ruinous effect on the peace process and on the development of a multi-ethnic society there.