Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo/serbia : Eu Warns Kosovo against Any Unilateral Action

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo/serbia : Eu Warns Kosovo against Any Unilateral Action

Article excerpt

The European Union warned Kosovo on 21 June against any unilateral action after Russia had rejected a third draft proposal for the UN resolution defining its future status. Stefan Lehne, the EU's special envoy to Kosovo, called Pristina's potential declaration of independence an "irresponsible" move and appealed to Kosovo Albanian leaders to stay patient.

"It would be a huge step backwards," said Lehne. "Unilateral action or other irresponsible behaviour in Kosovo would take away all the goodwill that you have received," he explained to reporters after meeting the ethnic Albanian president of Serbia's breakaway southern province, Fatmir Sejdiu.

Lehne's statement came a day after Russia rejected the latest proposal for a resolution on Kosovo submitted to the UN Security Council by the US and the EU. The Western-backed draft says that a plan proposed by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari for Kosovo's independence under international supervision will take effect in four months "unless the Security Council expressly decides otherwise after conducting an evaluation". During these 120 days, Pristina and Belgrade would be expected to conduct additional negotiations in order to reach an agreement. Should they fail then the Ahtisaari plan would enter into force.

Serbia swiftly rejected the US-EU draft resolution, saying that it is ready for talks but without conditions. "A new resolution is not needed to restart talks, only the good will to seat at the table and search for compromise," said Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica. …

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