The Serbian government warmly welcomes Russia's decision to reject the new draft resolution on Kosovo, a Serbian government official said Wednesday evening.
Serbian prime minister's media advisor Srdjan Djuric said that this demonstrates "the principled policies and cooperation between Belgrade and Moscow, based on the respect of international law and the UN Charter," the official Tanjug news agency reported.
Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the press in New York after the UN Security Council session that the new Western draft resolution on Kosovo is unacceptable to Russia.
Russia did not take part in drafting the document, but some elements of its resolution are still on the table, he said, noting that Moscow favors a settlement good for Belgrade, Pristina and the whole region.
Kosovo, with 90 percent of its population being ethnic Albanians, has been run by the United Nations since 1999, when NATO bombings halted the Serbian crackdown on separatist Albanian rebels. Its future status talks between Kosovo's Albanian majority and Serbian authorities were first officially launched in November 2005, but ended in vain 13 months later.
UN Kosovo envoy Martti Ahtisaari has proposed internationally supervised independence for Kosovo, a move backed by the United States, most EU countries and Kosovo Albanian leaders but rejected by Serbia and its traditional ally Russia.
Earlier on Wednesday, the United States and European Union distributed a new, third draft resolution on Kosovo, granting to Serbia and Kosovo Albanians four more months to try to find a negotiated solution for the future status of the province.
The document envisages support to Ahtisaari's plan for supervised independence of Kosovo after 120 days, unless the UN Security Council decides otherwise meanwhile on the basis of the evaluation of a special representative of the UN secretary-general.
Besides additional 120 days for negotiations, the new draft also envisages the cessation of the mandate of the UN administration in Kosovo and its replacement by an EU mission, while NATO forces will remain in charge of security in the province.