Russia warns of dangerous consequences over Kosovo independence

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Moscow, Feb 18 (UNI) Stressing that international community should face the challenge, Russia has warned the decision by the Kosovo leadership to unilaterally declare the Serbian province independent would create the risk of an escalation of tension and inter-ethnic violence and new conflict in the Balkans.

''Those who are considering supporting separatism should understand what dangerous consequences their actions threaten to have for world order, international stability and the authority of the UN Security Council's decisions that took decades to build,'' Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

''Russia fully supports the reaction of the Serbian leadership to the events in Kosovo and its just demands to restore the territorial integrity of the country,'' the statement added, referring to the unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence on February 17.

It said the unilateral proclamation by Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of independence of the province violated the sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia, the Charter of the United Nations, UNSCR 1244, the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, Kosovo's Constitutional Framework and the high-level Contact Group accords.

''We expect the UN Mission in Kosovo and NATO-led Kosovo Force will take immediate action to fulfill their mandates as authorised by the Security Council, including voiding the decisions of Pristina's self-governing institutions and adopting severe administrative measures against them,'' the statement said.

''Russia calls for immediate convening of an emergency UN Security Council meeting to examine the situation and take resolute and effective measures for a return to the political settlement process in accordance with the provisions of UNSCR 1244,'' it said.

Reacting to the Kosovo's proclamation of independence, the chairman of the Federation Council, the upper house of Parliament, Sergei Mironov said Russia had the right to revise relations with the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, given the Kosovo precedent.

''Now Russia has the right to revise its relations with and policy to Abkhazia and South Ossetia,'' Mr Mironov told Interfax news agency today.

Ultranationalist LDPR leader and presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky said Kosovo independence marks the beginning of a new redivision of the world.

''In fact, a new redivision of the world has begun. One can hold that new methods of creating new states in the interests of the West are being tested in Kosovo. Or to be more precise the US pure interests can be seen here,'' Mr Zhirinovsky told the agency.

He said Western countries are forced to back the United States, because they are dependent on the US.

He added the US needs a corridor to the West Asia as it is interested in gaining control over oil and gas transportation routes in Europe, primarily the South Stream.

''Kosovo for the US, is a good military base directed against Russia,'' Mr Zhirinovsky said.

UNI XC RJ MIR DS1630

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