Putin: unilateral independence declaration by Kosovo illegal and immoral

World

A unilateral independence declaration by Kosovo and Western recognition will be “illegal and immoral,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

Putin emphasized that talks were the only possible way to resolve the problem and urged to find compromise between Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians and Serbia, the AP said.

International negotiations began in 2006 to determine the final status of Kosovo, as envisaged under UN Security Council Resolution 1244 which ended the Kosovo conflict of 1999. Whilst Serbia's continued sovereignty over Kosovo is recognised by the international community, a clear majority of the province's population would prefer independence.

After many weeks of discussions at the UN, the United States, United Kingdom and other European members of the Security Council formally 'discarded' a draft resolution backing Ahtisaari's proposal on 20 July 2007, having failed to secure Russian backing. Beginning in August, a "Troika" consisting of negotiators from the United States (Frank Wisner), the EU (Wolfgang Ischinger) and Russia (Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko) launched a new effort to reach a status outcome acceptable to both Belgrade and Pristina. Despite Russian disapproval, the U.S., Britain, and France appear likely to recognize Kosovar independence if it is declared after December 10, 2007, the date upon which the Contact Group will report on the Troika's efforts to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.