Russia’s NATO envoy condemns US military aid to Kosovo

March 29th, 2008 - 1:57 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Brussels, March 29 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s envoy to NATO has said the US decision to supply arms to Kosovo is a direct violation of a UN Security Council resolution. US President George W. Bush authorised March 19 arms supplies to Kosovo, saying it would “strengthen the security of the US and promote world peace”.

Security Council Resolution 1244 prohibits weapon supplies to the region, except to UN peacekeeping forces.

Dmitry Rogozin Friday said he was “concerned and alarmed” over the decision, which threatens peace in the region.

“The decision in reality is a means of compelling the Serbs to live in an independent Kosovo.”

There is a huge volume of arms in Kosovo, and countries should consider seizing them, he said.

Resolution 1244 gave the UN the authority to administer Kosovo, which has been a UN protectorate since the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia - ending a conflict between Albanian and Serb forces in 1999.

Kosovo, with a 90 percent ethnic Albanian majority, declared unilateral independence from Serbia Feb 17. The US and the vast majority of European Union (EU) states have since acknowledged its sovereignty.

Russia, Serbia’s traditional ally, has refused to recognise the “world’s newest state” and has pledged to block any attempt by Kosovo to seek UN membership.

Last week, violence broke out in the north of Kosovo as rioters attacked UN peacekeepers following the arrests of ethnic Serbs who had seized a UN court building in protest against the province’s secession. A Ukrainian peacekeeper was killed and scores of people, both Serbs and UN personnel, were injured.
RIA Novosti

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