Word ‘Independence’ shunned in Troika talks

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders have met with envoys from the U.S., the EU and Russia in London. The meeting over the future of the disputed province is to be followed by the first direct talks between Serbian and Kosovo leaders next week.

The Serbian Foreign Minister, Vuk Jeremic, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Agim Ceku, and President Fatmir Sejdiu of Kosovo, were among those who attended the London talks.

In the course of discussions, the mediators tended to avoid the word “independence”.

As it has repeatedly said, Russia’s stance is a resolution that would be acceptable for both sides. Russia’s acting Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, has stressed that a unilateral declaration of independence wouldl start a chain reaction.

“I do not see any way in which a unilateral declaration of Kosovo's independence might stabilise the situation in Europe. It would start a chain reaction in various parts of the continent and the world,” Russian Foreign Minister stated.

Earlier, mediators from the Troika also discussed the status of Serbia's breakaway republic of Kosovo with Serbian officials.

Meantime, Russia's Troika representative says that although all sides in the Kosovo problem have not changed their stand, new solutions are being prepared.

“Unfortunately the parties’ positions remain diametrically opposed. But the parties began to submit some new elements in scope of their positions,” said Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko, Russia’s Troika envoy.