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Russia: No independence for Kosovo

May 31, 2007 at 10:30 AM

POTSDAM, Germany, May 31 (UPI) -- Russia will veto any U.N. Security Council proposal recognizing independence for Kosovo, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hinted at the G8 summit in Germany.

The G8 summit came as Russian-U.S. relations were strained over the United States' plans to place a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, its support of independence for Kosovo from Serbia and other issues.

"I can't imagine a situation where the Security Council will approve such a resolution," Lavrov said of Kosovo resolution at a news conference Wednesday. "Such a situation will not happen."

Lavrov had criticized the United States' support for Kosovo at the G8 leaders' private meeting, a European source told The New York Times.

"Lavrov said, 'Why don't we solve the case of Western Sahara first?'" the official told the Times. "He even brought up Abkhazia," a Black Sea region trying to secede from Georgia.

"And every time Lavrov said something, (U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice) would jump in," the official said. "It was like tennis."