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Serbia may recall ambassadors from EU states over Kosovo

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Serbia's ambassadors to a host of EU states have packed their belongings and are ready to return to Belgrade if Kosovo declares unilateral independence, the Serbian Blic newspaper said on Friday.
BELGRADE, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - Serbia's ambassadors to a host of EU states have packed their belongings and are ready to return to Belgrade if Kosovo declares unilateral independence, the Serbian Blic newspaper said on Friday.

"The withdrawal of ambassadors for consultations in the case of Kosovo's independence is one of the measures outlined by the government's action plan," the newspaper said.

The Serbian ambassadors mentioned by the paper were to Germany, Italy, France, Belgium and the Vatican.

A separatist province in southern Serbia, Kosovo is expected to unilaterally declare its independence on Sunday.

The newspaper said that the recall of the ambassadors would not mean that Serbia was breaking diplomatic relations, "but that our embassies in EU countries and other countries that recognize Kosovo independence will work at a ministerial level."

Although Kosovo's independence is backed by the United States and most EU countries, Serbia and Russia, among others, oppose the plans, considering any unilateral declaration of independence a violation of international law.

Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia ended a conflict between Albanian and Serb forces in 1999. Over 200,000 Serbians have left Kosovo since 1999 and some 100,000 are still living in the province, which has a total population of two million.

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