Serbia Warns U.S., EU on Kosovo

Serbia warned the United States and the European Union on Wednesday not to recognize Kosovo's independence without United Nations consent, saying that would prompt an immediate response from Serbian authorities and could destabilize the region.

Serbia Warns U.S., EU on Kosovo
Parliament adopted a resolution drafted by the government that said Serbian authorities ``must immediately and energetically respond to signs by any international subject which seeks to jeopardize the sovereignty and territorial integrity'' of the Balkan country.

``Any unilateral recognition of Kosovo's independence would have unforeseeable consequences for regional stability,'' the resolution warned.

Although Kosovo formally remains a province of Serbia, it has been under U.N. and NATO administration since a 78-day NATO-led air war halted a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists in 1999.

In April, the U.N.'s special envoy on Kosovo, Martti Ahtisaari, recommended Kosovo be granted internationally supervised independence. But the plan was opposed by Russia and Serbia.

The eight-hour Serbian parliamentary debate came just days after the U.S. and the EU were forced to withdraw their latest draft of a resolution on Kosovo's future from the U.N. Security Council. Russia, a veto-wielding member of the council and Serbia's close ally, opposed the resolution saying it contained a hidden route to independence.

The U.S. and EU said Friday they would move the forum for deciding Kosovo's status from the Security Council to the Contact Group on Kosovo - which includes representatives from the U.S., Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Russia.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Kosovo's leaders on Monday that the United States was committed to achieving international recognition of Kosovo's independence within months - even without a Security Council resolution.

Serbia's Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica told the parliament that ``any unilateral recognition (of Kosovo) would represent a policy of force and legal violence.''

Kostunica described the withdrawal of the U.N. resolution as ``the victory'' of joint Serbian and Russian policies and vowed Kosovo will never be independent.

The parliamentary resolution did not specify what measures Serbia would take against countries that might recognize the province's independence. But government officials said they could include downgrading or even cutting of diplomatic ties.

Vladan Batic, a lawmaker of a liberal party which is the only group in Serbia that does not oppose Kosovo's independence, described Kostunica's speech as anti-American and ``warmongering.'' He accused the premier of seeking to return Serbia to the isolationist era of former President Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Temmuz 2007, 18:01