15 November 2006

Russia supports Kosovo compromise solution

UPI, November 1, 2006

MOSCOW, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Russia's foreign minister says the future of Serbia's mainly ethnic-Albanian Kosovo province must be decided through compromise talks.

Addressing reporters Wednesday in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.N.-led Kosovo talks between Serbs and ethnic-Albanians must end in a solution acceptable to the two sides, Serbia's RTS radio-television said.

After meeting with his Serbian counterpart Vuk Draskovic, Lavrov said the solution to Kosovo's future status could be reached only in mutual agreement and without imposed solutions on any side.

The Kosovo talks, being held in Vienna since February, have brought no breakthrough.

Leaders of ethnic-Albanians, who make up 90 percent of Kosovo's population of 1.8 million, insist on independence from Belgrade and the Serbian government in Belgrade, representing 100,000 Serbs in Kosovo, says the province will be an integral part of Serbia forever.

U.N. administrators and NATO troops have been stationed in Kosovo since 1999, to contain armed conflicts between ethnic-Albanians and Serbs.