02:46 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Russia joins Serbia's call for emergency UN session on Kosovo

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    Russia is backing Serbia's plea to the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session on "the extremely grave situation" in Kosovo on Thursday.

    UNITED NATIONS, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is backing Serbia's plea to the UN Security Council to hold an emergency session on "the extremely grave situation" in Kosovo on Thursday.

    Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu said last Friday that the Albanian-dominated province was close to declaring independence from Serbia, and its government was closely cooperating with international organizations to alleviate any problems that may arise.

    European Union officials said they expect Kosovo's independence to be declared on February 17.

    Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, sent a letter to the council's president on Tuesday supporting Serbia's appeal to reconsider the situation in its province of Kosovo and Metohija.

    The UN Security Council will consider a letter from Serbia's U.N. Ambassador Pavle Jevremovic at a session on Wednesday, said Marie Okabe, deputy spokesperson for the secretary-general.

    Russia, which categorically opposes the unilateral independence of Serbia's province, is insisting that negotiations continue between Pristina and Belgrade to work out a roadmap.

    According to Serbian media, among UN Security Council members, Russia, China, Vietnam, Indonesia and South Africa oppose independence for Kosovo. The U.S., Britain, France, Italy, Belgium and Panama have been calling for the province's independence.

    Of the remaining Security Council members, Libya, Croatia, Costa Rica and Burkina Faso have not yet formulated their respective positions.

    Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia ended a conflict between Albanian and Serb forces in 1999.

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