Topic: Kosovo declares independence
The Kosovo parliament unilaterally adopted on February 17 a declaration on the breakaway republic's independence from Serbia. Belgrade has called the decision illegal and is demanding to cancel it. However, the United States and some other Western countries have recognized Kosovo's independence.
"It is unacceptable that for the first time in the post-war history, a country [Serbia], which is a member of the United Nations, has been divided in violation of all principles used in resolving territorial conflicts," Lavrov said in an interview with Russia's Vesti 24 television.
"We are actively supporting Belgrade's demands to restore its territorial integrity and sovereignty," he said, adding that the unilateral recognition of Kosovo's independence would have a negative impact on other regional conflicts, including those in the Middle East.
He also expressed concern over attempts by some political forces to replace the UN as the main mediator in international conflicts.
"Someone is willing to use the Kosovo precedent to see whether it is possible to shift the center of decision-making to a different place naming NATO as such. This is a most dangerous game," he said.
He also accused the EU of double-standard policies in the settlement of the Kosovo conflict.
"Their [the EU] logic is quite funny - after destroying territorial integrity of a legitimate state [Serbia], they say they are determined to protect territorial integrity of an illegal formation [Kosovo]," the minister said.
Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev also reaffirmed on Monday that Moscow would maintain a firm stand on territorial integrity of Serbia.
"We believe that Serbia is a unified state, whose jurisdiction extends over its whole territory, and we will maintain this position in the future," Medvedev said at the talks with Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica in Belgrade.
Medvedev, who is the Kremlin's front-runner in the March 2 presidential elections, said that Russia and Serbia would coordinate their efforts to resolve the current political crisis over Kosovo's independence.
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Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.