Russia ‘pleased’ it foiled Kosovo independence
Russia, which blocked Kosovo’s bid for independence from Serbia, assured Serbia of its continued support, saying it was pleased other G8 nations were taking its arguments seriously.
In a public setback for western leaders who back Kosovo’s bid for independence and who are pushing for action this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin refused on Friday to back down from his insistence that there can be no resolution of the
• province’s status without the agreement of Serbia.
Mr. Putin said after a G8 summit of the world’s major industrialized nations on Friday that undermining Serbia’s sovereignty “does not correspond to moral or legal norms.”
U.S. President George W. Bush said yesterday the UN Security Council must act now on a plan to grant Kosovo supervised independence. Washington supports a proposal by UN mediator Martti Ahti- saari which offers Kosovo independence under international supervision, but Russia has threatened to veto any vote.
“Our position (on Kosovo) was formulated long ago and it has not changed since then,” Mr. Putin told Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica at their meeting on the fringes of the 11th St Petersburg International Economic Forum.