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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Kosovo: Russian Foreign Ministry seriously concerned

“Behind-the-scenes preparatory arrangements by western countries, down to and including direct pressure on the UN Secretary General and on the European Union’s Presidency, for a EU mission to be sent to Kosovo in circumvention of the UN Security Council, as well as beefing up the mandate of the military component of the peacekeeping operation there, the Kosovo Force (KFOR), have recently come to light. There is active brainwashing underway to convince so called doubters in the EU ranks of the necessity to “promptly” recognize Kosovo in the case of a unilateral proclamation of independence by Pristina. The KFOR command is working out plans to pacify the province’s Serbs who obviously oppose the sovereignization of Kosovo.

Such moves are causing our serious concern and require an adequate response.

We would like to recall that the mandates of the international presences in the province were approved by UN Security Council resolution 1244 in June 1999. The civilian presence has been created in the form of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and this was done on the basis of the UN Secretary General’s proposals, endorsed by the Security Council.

Therefore any change of the nature, composition or operational plan of actions by the international civilian presence in Kosovo requires a new decision of the Security Council. This will become possible only with the consent of Belgrade and Pristina.

Although we understand the desire of the European Union to play a more active role in Kosovo affairs, this can be done only with the observance of the said conditions.

Any steps for reformatting the international presences in the province bypassing the Security Council run counter to resolution 1244, the Charter of the United Nations and the universally accepted principles of peacekeeping”.

Source: Ministry of External Relations

Russian Federation