The Serbian parliament has voted by an overwhelming majority to reject the UN’s plan to grant limited independence to Kosovo, a resolution which does not bode well for next week’s summit with the UN and Kosovar delegations in Vienna. The UN Security Council will vote on Kosovo after Vienna. Russia, Serbia’s old ally, has already threatened to use its veto if the terms do not suit Belgrade.
UN envoy Marti Ahtisaari has suggested a form of self-rule for Kosovo. But many ethnic Albanians – who make up 90 percent of the Serbian province’s two million people – want full independence. Repercussions from violent protests in Pristina at the weekend continue to make themselves felt.
The deaths of two ethnic Albanian men at a rally led to the resignation of Kosovo’s interior minister on Tuesday. Yesterday it was the turn of the UN police chief in the province to fall on his sword. Stephen Curtis said he resigned over reasons of “political accountability.”
80 people were hurt in what was the worst violence since March 2004, stoking western fears of worsening civil unrest if the issue of the Serbian province’s status is not resolved soon.