Kosovo Serbs gathered last Saturday in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica for a session to inaugurate their own legislative body, calling it the Assembly of the Union of Municipalities of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo, and draft its mandate.
The statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry said the establishment of the Assembly was "a logical reaction to illegal and unilateral declaration of independence of the region and is a reflection of prevailing sentiments among Serbs to resist their forceful integration into the illegal entity of the Kosovo Albanians."
The establishment of the assembly brought negative reactions from many of the countries that backed Kosovo's independence when it was declared five months ago.
"A number of countries have made a hasty assessment of this move [to establish the Assembly] branding it as illegal," the ministry said. "Thus, they have once again shown their biased approach to the situation in Kosovo."
Kosovo - which has been under UN administration since NATO bombings ended a conflict between Serbian troops and Albanian separatists in 1999 - has been recognized by 43 of 192 UN member states, including by the United States and most major European powers.
Moscow has supported its ally Serbia in refusing to recognize the world's 'newest state'.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Removing Protesters’ Barricades in Kiev
Infographics: First Russian Smartphone
Russia has become very adept in playing the diplomatic game, in which victory depends on choosing the right associate or partner. But there are a growing number of claimants to this role in the new horizontal and interdependent world. Aside Syria and Iran, being still important, the new venues for the application of practical diplomacy may well be Ukraine, the East China Sea and Afghanistan.