The President of Serbia has told the UN Security Council that his country will never recognise an independent Kosovo, but neither will it use violence to prevent ethnic Albanians there establishing their own state.
Boris Tadic called on the 15 members of the security council to prevent what he called the unilateral act on the independence of Kosovo.
“Serbia will never recognise Kosovo’s independence,” he said, “and will preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty by all democratic means, legal arguments and diplomacy. I therefore confirm once again that Serbia will not resort to violence and war.”
Kosovo’s newly elected prime minister, Hashim Thaci, is also at the UN in New York.
He’s due to lead nearly two million of his fellow ethnic Albanians to independence, which is expected to be declared sometime after Serbia’s Presidential elections on Sunday.
He said: “Kosovo is ready, is united. We now want to do (our) homework, and very soon we will take our decision. We hope very soon (the) international community will recognise us – Washington, Brussels, and other states.”
But the UN’s role in Kosovo is shrinking. Serbia’s security council ally, Russia, has stood in the way of all attempts to pass a resolution which would open a door to independence.
Th EU is planning to take over the UN’s policing and justice role in the breakaway region.