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Russian Foreign Minister Accuses West of Bypassing Russian View on Kosovo


Russia's top diplomat has voiced regret that Moscow was not invited to a key meeting Tuesday on Kosovo.

In comments Wednesday in Stockholm, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the Paris meeting of the Contact Group on Kosovo, without group member Russia, an attempt to circumvent Moscow's opposition to Kosovo independence. Earlier, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman accused the other members of the group of holding "secret discussions."

In Washington, the U.S. envoy to Kosovo, Frank Wisner, said the Paris talks affirmed that Washington and its European allies "are of one mind" in backing a United Nations plan for supervised independence for Kosovo. Wisner travels to the Kosovo capital, Pristina, Thursday to brief officials on the Paris talks.

Russia - a traditional Serbian ally - has voiced strong opposition to the U.N. plan.

Moscow says it will veto any U.N. Security Council resolution on Kosovo's future that is not supported both by Belgrade and the ethnic Albanian majority in the troubled province.

The members of the Contact Group are Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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