Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Russia rejects latest UN resolution

The saga at the UN continues to churn on, consuming a lot of energy and producing very little tangible progress.  Yesterday Russia rejected the latest UN resolution which would have called for four months of intensive discussion between the governments of Prishtina and Belgrade.

The US and EU sponsors of the resolution called this latest draft the "final attempt" to reach an agreement with Moscow.  More from the Charlotte Observer:

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said Friday that a Russian veto "will not stop the situation from moving forward in Kosovo, but it will be outside the Security Council framework, which is not what we want, and it's not the desirable way to go forward."

But he also said: "We are determined to move forward either within the council or otherwise."

It's my contention that Russia continues to use the situation in the Balkans as a bargaining chip in the US-Russia missile defense talks.  Last week Russia raised the stakes by unilaterally withdrawing  from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, citing security concerns related to eastern NATO expansion and the US missile shield program (more here).

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