Russian FM Says Kosovo Plan 'Will Fail'

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the UN envoy on Kosovo "will fail" if he pursues his current plan for the province.

Lavrov today accused Martti Ahtisaari of "ignoring" the position of Serbia, which has rejected his plan that would give Kosovo internationally supervised independence.

"This problem can't be solved without taking into account the positions of the two conflicting sides, Belgrade and Pristina. Ahtisaari has decided to ignore them, but I think he will fail," Lavrov said.

Moscow has insisted that any solution must be agreeable to Serbia as well as Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.

Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, has stepped up its opposition to Ahtisaari's plan ahead of a debate in the council next month.

Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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