UN Trip to Kosovo Undermines Quick Independence Plan

The UN Security Council is to discuss this week a report on its mission’s trip to the Balkans. The findings have apparently intensified a controversy between Russia and the United States, two opponents on the Kosovo issue.

The UN Security Council last week met for a preliminary consideration of the UN Kosovo mission’s report.

“Everything we saw there is strikingly different from what you read in newspapers,” South African Ambassador to the UN Dumisani Kumalo told reporters, adding that the UN needs time to decide on the matter.

The United States has been anxious to push through a resolution that would set Kosovo on the path to independency. In contrast, Russia prefers to take time to draft a solution that would satisfy both ethnic Serbs and Albanians.

The United States hopes that Moscow will abstain from vetoing its plan. A senior U.S. official warned that if Russia vetoes the resolution it will be responsible for any resulting violence of instability in the breakaway province.

The UN security watchdog is likely to debate the Kosovo issue for two more weeks unless Kosovo pulls the trigger and declares independence, a move that the United States will immediately support, according to U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns. Meanwhile, America’s arguments grew weaker after UN
officials went back from fact-finding mission to Kosovo. Unofficial sources report that South Africa, China, Congo, Ghana and Indonesia are now most likely to vote for further talks instead of quick independence.

Open discussion of the report starts this week. “The trip has only strengthened Russia in its opinion that if the two sides in the conflict do not support the UN plan, talks should be continued,” Russia’s Ambassador to the UN told the press.


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