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Serbian, Kosovo Albanian Mediators to Report to UN Security Council


Serbian and ethnic Albanian negotiators are expected to present a report Wednesday to the U.N. Security Council about the demands of Kosovo Albanians for independence from Serbia.

The two sides in November ended months of internationally-mediated talks on the status of Kosovo without an agreement.

On Tuesday, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused western countries of pressuring Kosovo Albanians into taking an uncompromising stance with their demands for independence. He said that as a result, the West has blocked progress in the talks.

Meanwhile, several thousand Kosovo Serbs demonstrated against independence in the northern city of Kosovska Mitrovica.

Serbia offered Kosovo Albanians broad autonomy and many elements of statehood, but insisted on maintaining sovereignty over the area. The province's ethnic Albanian majority would accept nothing but independence.

Russia backs Serbia on the issue and has threatened to veto any Security Council resolution on Kosovo independence. The United States and many European countries have indicated that they would recognize a unilateral declaration of Kosovo's independence.

Kosovo has been under U.N. administration since 1999, when NATO airstrikes drove Serbian and Yugoslav security forces from the province.

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