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13 Feb, 2008 11:21

Russia & EU fail to agree on Kosovo: Lavrov

Russia and the European Union have failed to overcome their differences on the future status of Serbia's breakaway region of Kosovo – that's the verdict of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The Foreign Minister says Russia won't impose any sanctions against the EU if the latter gives the green light to Kosovo independence.

“Russia isn't planning any measures to punish anyone. We are confident that a unilateral declaration of independence would be a mistake,” Lavrov said.

Meanwhile he stressed that it is possible to revive the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, but it's only possible if the Albanians in Kosovo aren't prohibited to re-enter the negotiations, if some countries don't say independence is inevitable.

“Unfortunately we've been witnessing this standpoint for many months or even the whole of last year – when there was a real chance of success for the negotiations. But foreign countries were telling Kosovo's leadership that negotiations didn't make any sense, they were saying: don't agree to a compromise, demand independence. In these conditions, negotiations are useless,” Lavrov said.

To watch Sergey Lavrov's media briefing, please follow the link.

Meanwhile the Slovenian Foreign Minister Dmitry Rupel said it's not up to the EU to recognise Kosovo or not, it's up to each separate state to make its own decision.

“When Kosovo does something, then we will talk about it in the EU and make decisions.  As far as I know the issue of recognition of countries is the responsibility of individual member states – not the EU as a whole,” Rupel said.