Russia for status neutral conduct in Kosovo

Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said late on Monday that his country's stance to not recognize the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo remained unchanged and urged the international community to act in a status-neutral manner.

(KosovoCompromise Staff) Tuesday, May 15, 2012

At a UN Security Council session on Kosovo, Churkin said the Kosovo government's attempt to take over power in the northern part of the province could destabilize the situation in the area.

The Russian representative complained about the slow progress of the EULEX-headed investigation into organ trafficking in Kosovo, adding that his country supported Serbia's initiative for a UN-led investigation.

Churkin said the referendum held in northern Kosovo in February was an act of desperation by the local Serbs.

The situation is also unsatisfying when it comes to returnees, who are not sure of their own safety. The international community also needs to protect Orthodox churches and congregation in Kosovo, said the ambassador.

He warned about the danger of the contacts between the Kosovo government and the Syrian opposition.

This is against Kofi Annan's peace plan and can also be a destabilizing factor in the Balkans and beyond, Churkin concluded.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern Monday about reports saying Syrian rebels were training in Kosovo with former members of the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army", who were establishing an international rebel training center.

UNMIK head Farid Zarif presented Ban Ki-moon's s report, which concluded that tension still loomed over peace and stability in Kosovo and the region, despite progress in the Belgrade-Pristina dialog.

As one positive trend, he mentioned the Serbian parliamentary elections held in Kosovo with support from the international community in observance of the Security Council's Resolution 1244.

The UN secretary general's report expressed hope that a positive dialog, progress toward European integration and the normalization of relations between Pristina and Belgrade would continue to solidify, and that tension would fall off.

He stressed that room for dialog could narrow in the coming months if peace is not preserved or if the public's reactions to incidents and provocation were impetuous.