Russian President Vladimir Putin says his government will only support proposals on the future of Serbia's Kosovo province if they are acceptable to both Serbia and ethnic Albanians living in the province.
Mr. Putin spoke Sunday, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, after talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. His comments came as U.N. envoys prepare to give the U.N. Security Council recommendations on the future of the province.
Ethnic Albanians, who comprise 90 percent of Kosovo's population, are seeking independence - a push strongly opposed by Belgrade. Negotiators are expected to present a compromise offering some form of provincial autonomy.
As a member of the Security Council, Russia - a historically close ally of Serbia - is likely to play a key role in Kosovo's future, because it can use its Council veto to block any deal that does not satisfy Belgrade.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.