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Russia rejects U.S.-EU draft resolution on Kosovo-1

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Russia will not back a new draft United Nations Security Council resolution on the status of Kosovo proposed by the United States and the European Union, Russia's ambassador to the UN said Thursday.
(adds Russian position in paragraph 6)

UNITED NATIONS, May 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not back a new draft United Nations Security Council resolution on the status of Kosovo proposed by the United States and the European Union, Russia's ambassador to the UN said Thursday.

Vitaly Churkin said: "We do not intend to work with the American-EU text... The amendments are purely cosmetic, and give no answers to any of Russia's fundamental concerns."

Asked whether Russia would use its veto right, the diplomat said: "You read my thoughts."

The U.S. and the EU proposed a "soft" draft resolution on Kosovo at the Security Council in an apparent bid to overcome Russian opposition.

The new draft tones down UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari's proposal advocating internationally supervised sovereignty for the province, but toughens demands on the Kosovo leadership, in particular on security concerns.

Russia has consistently opposed international plans to grant independence to Kosovo, and believes the predominantly Albanian region's status should be decided through direct negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade.

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