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    Russian FM urges Serbs to be proactive in Kosovo status talks

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    "Kosovo's fate will depend precisely on how proactive the Serbs are," Sergey Lavrov said. "So far, unfortunately, the Serb side has been taking a hands-off approach to the negotiations."

    MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's foreign minister called Friday for Serbia to be more proactive in talks over the status of Kosovo.

    "Kosovo's fate will depend precisely on how proactive the Serbs are," Sergey Lavrov said. "So far, unfortunately, the Serb side has been taking a hands-off approach to the negotiations."

    He said Moscow wanted the status of Kosovo, a Serbian province with a predominantly Albanian population, to be determined through negotiations rather than imposed, and pledged support for the Serb negotiators.

    A third round of talks between Kosovo Albanians and the Serbian government is scheduled to begin April 3, and will be mediated by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari.

    Formally part of Serbia, Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since 1999, following a NATO military campaign to drive out Yugoslav forces accused of atrocities against Albanian civilians.

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