Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence - president
The president, speaking after a meeting with United Nations envoy Martti Ahtisaari, said that any decision on Kosovo's independence imposed from the outside would contradict the main principles of international law. Plans for Serbia and its predominantly Albanian region Kosovo presented by the UN envoy have been interpreted by both sides as suggesting a division of the territories, and foreseeing eventual independence for Kosovo.
The Serbian leader said the document submitted by Ahtisaari to Serbian and Kosovar leaders, "does not unambiguously state the 'independence' of Kosovo, and does not mention the territorial integrity of Serbia. Mainly because of this, but also partly because of certain other provisions of the document, the plan opens up the possibility of Kosovo's separation from Serbia." All parts of the document will be thoroughly studied, he added.
The president said he intended to discuss the document with all leaders of the newly-elected parliament, and that he hoped this would enable Serbia to defend its national interests and implement a unified policy on Kosovo. The UN Security Council is expected to vote on a final draft resolution on Kosovo in March.
Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council and a traditional ally of Belgrade, has repeatedly said that sovereignty for the UN-administered Serbian province of Kosovo could have negative consequences for unresolved conflicts in the former Soviet Union that erupted in the early 1990s. In mid-January, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that a decision on Kosovo's independence should satisfy both Kosovar and Serbian authorities, and that a forced decision on the status of Kosovo was out of the question.
Last November, thousands of Kosovar Albanians attacked the UN headquarters in the capital, Pristina, over a delayed decision on their demand for independence. The region has been a UN protectorate since NATO's military campaign against Belgrade to end a war between Serb forces and Albanian separatists in 1999.