Western governments are calling for calm in Kosovo following its declaration of independence from Serbia.

The U.S. State Department Sunday urged all parties to restrain from "provocative acts." It also welcomed the Kosovo government's commitment to a United Nations' plan to protect its ethnic Serbian minority. President Bush issued an earlier statement calling for calm.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the alliance urges all parties to exercise moderation. He also warned the NATO force of 16,000 peacekeepers in Kosovo will respond "swiftly and firmly" to any violence.

Several European Union member-countries, including Greece, Romania, Spain, Cyprus and Slovakia, said they would not recognize Kosovo at this time.

Russia, as expected, quickly voiced opposition to the independence declaration, and called for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council to hear its protest.

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