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1 Feb, 2008 14:28

Serbs mull over historic election

Campaigning in Serbia has stopped ahead of the final round of voting in the presidential election on Sunday. It's considered crucial for Serbia, with a clear choice between the pro-Western Democrat Boris Tadic and nationalist Tomislav Nikolic.

The vote will determine how Serbia responds to Kosovo's declaration of independence, which is expected to come in February.

Both candidates reject the province's independence, but Tadic, unlike Nikolic, refuses to sever ties with Western nations that might recognise it.

The independence of Kosovo has also become a stumbling block in relations between Russia and Serbia on one side and the U.S. and western Europe on the other.

The Washington Times carries an article by former American politicians John Bolton, Peter Rodman and Lawrence Eagleburger, who say imposing a settlement on Serbia will be a direct challenge to Russia.

The authors believe that seeking Serbia's partition is against American interests, as attempts to reverse Russian and Serbian view on the conflict has proven to be vain.

The ethnic Albanian majority living in Kosovo is expected to declare independence from Serbia soon and America is likely to recognise the independence of the state.