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Russia to seek UN Kosovo mission chief's dismissal

Russia
(updated 18:25 28.10.2014)
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Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday saying the country will seek the dismissal of the United Nations' chief representative in Kosovo over his plans to end the UN mission in the province.
MOSCOW, June 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday saying the country will seek the dismissal of the United Nations' chief representative in Kosovo over his plans to end the UN mission in the province.

Russia continues to view Kosovo as a part of Serbia, and has warned that any transfer of the UN Kosovo mission's authority to the European Union would contravene international law.

Answering a reporter's question on steps being taken by UN Special Representative for Kosovo Joachim Ruecker to fold the UN mission, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said: "These are outrageous unauthorized steps that must be decisively blocked. We propose that administrative measures be taken against Ruecker, to the extent of removing him from his post."

The ministry said late last month that any handing over of authority or property by the UN mission to the EU would be in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and "must be stopped immediately."

The UN mission in Kosovo, stationed in the area since the end of an interethnic conflict in 1999, plans to reconfigure itself in the region after June 15, when Kosovo's government is due to take over from the UN.

Kosovo, with a 90% ethnic-Albanian majority, has been formally recognized as a sovereign state by 42 countries including the U.S. and most EU members since it proclaimed its independence from Serbia on February 17.