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Kostunica: Only UN Security Council Can Make Final Decision on Kosovo

Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica says the United Nations Security Council is the only body with the right to decide the final status of his country's breakaway Kosovo province.

Mr. Kostunica made his comments on the sidelines of the latest talks on the future of Kosovo between Serbian authorities and leaders of the province's ethnic Albanian majority. There were no signs of compromise at the talks in the Austrian spa town of Baden near Vienna, which are due to end Wednesday.

The Kosovo Albanians demand complete independence. Serbia insists on maintaining sovereignty over the area. Russia backs Serbia and has threatened to veto any Security Council resolution unacceptable to Belgrade.

Earlier, Serbian President Boris Tadic called compromise possible, if both sides make concessions. But the Albanian side called this a recipe for frozen conflicts because of Serbia's refusal to accept Kosovo as an independent country.

Negotiations are to be completed by December 10 when mediators are to report to the United Nations. Serbia and Russia are urging that negotiations continue after that date.

Mr. Tadic Tuesday, suggested self-governance and many elements of statehood for Kosovo. He said Serbia would retain control only over Kosovo's foreign policy, defense and border control.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.