Russia to immediately call UNSC consultn if Kosovo proclaims indep

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Moscow, Feb 17 (UNI) Russia will immediately call the UN Security Council for consultations if Kosovo unilaterally declares independence.

That may happen already today, the press secretary of the Russian permanent mission to the United Nations, Maria Zakharova said.

''If Kosovo proclaims independence, Russia intends to call UN Security Council consultations immediately,'' Mr Zakharova told Itar-Tass news agency from Russian permanent mission to the UN.

According to the media reports, active preparations are underway in Pristina for the proclamation of Kosovo's independence. Kosovo's parliament has been called into emergency session to formally declare independence from Serbia.

''We have to take decisions on the future of our nation,'' Prime Minister Hashim Thaci told reporters.

The US and a number of EU countries are expected to recognise Kosovo tomorrow. Serbia has threatened Kosovo with diplomatic and economic sanctions, but not force.

Its ally, Russia, also opposes Kosovan independence. Moscow has declared it many times that it will consider as illegitimate the unilateral proclamation of independence by Kosovo and its recognition as an independent state.

Russia believes a compromise should be reached between Pristina and Belgrade.

At his final annual press conference in the Kremlin last Thursday, President Vladimir Putin said the unilateral recognition of Kosovo's independence would be immoral and illegal.

''The status of Kosovo as an integral part of Serbia is defined in the UN Security Council resolution No 1244 and all countries should comply with these decisions,'' Mr Putin said.

He said it was inadmissible to encourage separatism and apply double standards in approach to similar problems in various parts of the world, including Northern Cyprus, the trans-Dniester region, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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