15 November 2006

Unilateral changing of Kosovo status would be illegal

ITAR-TASS - October 30, 2006 Monday 06:41 AM EST By: Sofia Filippova

MOSCOW, October 30 - The unilateral changing of the status of Kosovo, without the consent of the Serb nation, ``would mean that the decision would be illegal,'' Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Duma committee for international affairs, told journalists on Monday, commenting on the results of the referendum in Serbia.

Kosachev reminded that the new Constitution, for which the majority of Serbs voted, ``records the status of Kosovo as an integral part of Serbia.'' The results of the referendum are a key factor in the establishment of the status of Kosovo, he stressed.

``Now the recognition of Kosovo's independence without the consent of Belgrade will mean a direct violation of the OSCE Act, dated 1975, under which any changes of the borders may take place only with the consent of all parties concerned,'' he added. In the opinion of Kosachev, any decisions on Kosovo should be made, depending on the results of the talks between Belgrade and Pristina. He believes the promptness of decision-making on the problem is no so important as its effectiveness.

Kosachev stressed that Russia would help as much as it can in the working out of a compromise solution. ``We shall be satisfied with any compromise. No Russian interests are involved. We are interested in the observance of standards of international law,'' he said.