Russia: Kosovo independence will affect Georgian breakaway regions policy

Updated: 2008-02-15 22:33

MOSCOW - Russia Friday warned that it will take into account the proclamation of Kosovo's independence in its policy toward Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov [File photo] 

"Proclamation and recognition of Kosovo's independence will certainly have to be considered in connection with the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia," the Foreign Ministry said after meetings between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and leaders from those regions.

Lavrov and the leaders in their talks "stated concern over the destructive consequences that the recognition of Kosovo's independence could entail," it said.

Kosovo, which has been administered by the United Nations since 1999, is widely expected to unilaterally declare independence after talks failed to resolve its future status.

The United States and some European countries have voiced support for its independence, but Russia strongly opposes a unilateral proclamation of independence by Kosovo, a breakaway Serb province where ethnic Albanians make up most of the population.

The proclamation and recognition of Kosovo independence "envisages a revision of generally accepted norms and principles of the international law, and is able to lead to the undermining of rules and ethics of interstate communication," the Foreign Ministry said.

"Russia confirms its invariable striving to assist in every way a peaceful settlement of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts within the framework of the existing formats, and to counter any attempts to solve the problems with forceful methods," it said.

The Caucasus country of Georgia has long been irritated by Moscow's support for South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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