Tuesday, 19 February 2008

And so it begins.......

Kosovo Serbs burn border points

Serbs set fire to UN and police vehicles at Jarinje

Kosovo Serbs have set fire to two border crossings to protest against Kosovo's declaration of independence.
The attacks took place at the northern Jarinje and Banja crossings, manned by United Nations and Kosovo police.

In response, Nato-led peacekeepers were deployed at the crossings. There have been no reports of any injuries so far. This is the most serious incident since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Sunday, the BBC's Nick Thorpe in Kosovo says. Belgrade has said Kosovo's declaration violates international law.

Russia has warned that the move endangers international stability, while China has expressed its deep concern. The UN Security Council is divided over how to respond to Kosovo's move, and it has failed to agree on any action. Some 1,000 Kosovo Serbs attacked and set fire to the border crossing at Banja, on the main road between Kosovo's divided town of Mitrovica and Montenegro.

Earlier on Tuesday, Russia warned the US that Kosovo's declaration of independence endangered international stability. On Monday Kosovo's declaration drew protests in Belgrade and parts of Kosovo.

Moscow said the comments were made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a telephone conversation with his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice. "We confirmed our principled position on the unacceptability of unilateral actions by Pristina declaring its independence," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement, following talks between Mr Lavrov and Ms Rice.

"We underlined the dangerous consequences of such a step, which threatens the destruction of world order and international stability which have developed over decades," the statement said. All 27 EU foreign ministers agreed to leave recognition up to each member state.

Spain and several other member states have withheld recognition because of concerns about separatist movements within their own borders.

Full Story..

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