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08:10 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Russia refuses to discuss new Kosovo draft resolution-1

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Russian envoy at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said Wednesday Moscow will not participate in discussions over the new draft resolution on Kosovo.
(Adds Churkin's quote in para 5, background in paras 6-8)

UNITED NATIONS, June 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian envoy at the United Nations Vitaly Churkin said Wednesday Moscow will not participate in discussions over the new draft resolution on Kosovo.

"We will not work on this draft," the diplomat said. "We continue to maintain our position stated in the document that is sitting on the UN Security Council's table."

A new draft resolution on Kosovo, which gives the parties in the conflict four additional months to conduct further talks on the status of the province, was introduced Wednesday at the UN Security Council.

It is the third draft based on special envoy Martti Ahtisaari's plan to grant Kosovo independence without prior consent of Serbia. According to the new document, the resolution will come into force without further approval if the agreement between Pristina and Belgrade is not reached before the four-month deadline.

"The new draft of the Kosovo resolution brings us no closer to a platform that could be used to reach an agreement [on Kosovo]," the Russian envoy at the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said, adding that it was still a positive step because it showed that the West agreed with the necessity to continue talks on the issue.

Determining the status of the predominantly Albanian province of Serbia has been on the international agenda since NATO's 78-day bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia ended a war between Serb forces and Muslim Albanian separatists in 1999. The region has remained a UN protectorate ever since.

Ahtisaari's plan foreseeing independence for the region, which is home to two million, has been welcomed by the Kosovar Albanians, but strongly opposed by the Serb minority, as well as Belgrade and Moscow.

Moscow has repeatedly said a solution must be based on a compromise between Belgrade and Pristina, and that the position of ethnic minorities in the region should also be considered.