28 January 2007

Russia calls on authorities to determine Kosovo's status by talks

XINHUA (CHINA), 2006-12-01 04:45:33

MOSCOW, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- The status of Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province should be determined by talks instead of extremist actions, Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Russia "stressed the significance of Belgrade's and Pristina's efforts to determine Kosovo's status by talks and continue international actions in order to search for mutually acceptable decisions on the base of UN Security Council Resolution No. 1244 and the Contact Group documents," the ministry said.

Kosovo Albanian leaders bear responsibility for preventing extremist actions in Kosovo that may hamper the settlement, it said following visiting Kosovar Prime Minister Agim Ceku's talks with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov on Thursday.

The sides "urged Pristina to comply with international standards in order to ensure rights of ethnic minorities and return Serbian refugees to the province," the ministry said.

Kosovo, a Serbian province which was torn apart by a conflict between the Serbian authorities in Belgrade and ethnic Albanian separatists, has been run by a UN mission since 1999, when NATO bombing drove out Serbian forces in response to a military crackdown against the province's 90-percent ethnic-Albanian population.