Brussels expects a head-on clash with Russia over Kosovo status.

Despite the expected clash with Russia, Brussels officials hope that a solution for Kosovo will be reached by the end of the term of the German presidency of the EU.

The German weekly Financial Times Deutschland quoted a diplomat from Brussels, who asked to remain anonymous, as saying that "the EU is frustrated", as no one expected such a reaction from Russia.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had been co-operative up until Vladimir Putin's announcement that the Kosovo issue is of presidential concern.

Erhard Busek, the head of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, told the German weekly that any proposed solution will not lead to immediate consent from Belgrade.

"As far as I am familiar with Martti Ahtisaari’s report, he will suggest a monitored independence model, featuring peculiarities resembling those of the model applied to Bosnia", said Busek. He added that Ahtisaari’s proposal would set limits for Kosovo military policy and prohibit Kosovo from uniting with Albania or any other country.

"However, the Kosovo report will save room for further talks", Busek said, explaining that Russia was to be persuaded to approve such a model of independence for Kosovo.

[Source: Beta, Serbia, 18Jan07]

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