Russia will use veto to stop Kosovo independence: ambassador.

Russia's ambassador to Serbia Alexander Alexeyev said Monday that Russia would use its veto within the United Nations Security Council to block any decision supporting independence for Kosovo.

Alexeyev told B92 radio in Belgrade that any solution on Kosovo's status must be acceptable to both the ethnic Albanian majority of the breakaway Serbian province and the government in Belgrade.

He also criticized UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari for saying that a negotiated compromise between Belgrade and the Kosovo Albanian side was not possible.

Ahtisaari mediated in talks between the two sides earlier this year and is expected to present a proposed solution on the status of Kosovo early in 2007.

Alexeyev said that Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku had been briefed on Russia's stance when visited Moscow late last week.

The Serbian Government wants to maintain sovereignty over the province, which has been administered by the UN since 1999. The Albanian majority in Kosovo is pushing for full independence from Serbia.

[Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur, Belgrade, 04Dec06]

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