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29 Aug, 2007 11:32

’Troika’ of mediators still to find compromise on Kosovo

An international group of mediators is due to meet later in Vienna to discuss the future status of Kosovo. The ‘Troika', of the U.S, EU and Russia will try to find a compromise on the breakaway republic's future.

Russia’s representative of the 'Troika', Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko, said that the sides should reach a compromise.

“I will remind you that 'Troika' (Russia, EU and the U.S.) was established to facilitate agreement between Belgrade and Pristina, to move forward the status process in a more balanced way, one which is acceptable to both parties concerned. The main goal at this stage is to facilitate and mediate a compromise-based solution on the status of Kosovo between Belgrade and Pristina. At this stage Troika is not going to advance proposals, as the initiative has to come from the parties concerned. Of course, we invite the parties to prepare and to table fresh and creative ideas, and we expect them to make proposals which are likely to provoke a useful and constructive reply from the other side,” Mr Botsan-Kharchenko said.

“At this stage, we got reassurances in Pristina that the Kosovo leaders will refrain from the unilateral steps in the course of the new stage of the negotiating process. So we do believe that there will not be unilateral steps or declaring Kosovo independent in the negotiations. Also, Kosovo leaders made a strong promise to keep the situation in Kosovo under control, to keep a close eye on outstanding and critical issues of security. So we believe that Kosovo leaders with the support of international presence in Kosovo will help to maintain favourable environment for proceeding of the negotiation,” he added.

And Artyom Ulunyan from Moscow's Institute of World History says so far the 'Troika' has made little progress in resolving the issue.

“Up to now they haven't made any serious progress. And the problem is what will happen if Kosovo is independent, whether Belgrade will recognise it or the international community will put pressure on Belgrade. That is the problem. And who will understand the situation inside Kosovo? I think it is not possible at all to talk about the partition of Kososvo because, according to the agreements reached earlier, the main point is that Kosovo should not be partitioned or included in another state and should not return to the situation previous to 1999. Many experts believe that in the future Kosovo will receive some sort of independence, but what kind of independence nobody knows yet,” Mr Ulunyan commented.