A report by UN special envoy Martti Ahtisaari – recommending supervised independence for Kosovo – has been submitted to the United Nations Security Council. It comes after a year of fruitless negotiations between Serbia and the majority ethnic Albanians in the province. A Security Council vote could take place by the summer.
While sovereignty remains with Belgrade, Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO intervened to end a Serbian offensive against ethnic Albanians. The plan has been broadly accepted by Kosovo Albanians but some have protested against the UN mediator’s proposals, saying they don’t go far enough.
Serbia however rejects independence for Kosovo as a violation of international law. Russia, a traditional allly of Serbia and UN veto holder, could block the Ahtisaari plan. But NATO allies heading some 16,000 troops in Kosovo have warned of unrest – saying the province’s ethnic Albanians want swift progress now in achieving independence.