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Russia will provide Serbia with necessary assistance on Kosovo issue — Russian FM

Russia will only accept such decisions on settling the issue that will satisfy Serbia

MOSCOW, May 15. /TASS/. Moscow will provide its Serbian partners with the necessary assistance on Kosovo, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said, stressing that Russia will accept only those decisions on settling the issue that will satisfy Serbia.

Lavrov commented on the Kremlin’s official stance on Kosovo’s independence with due regard to the new realities in an interview with the Serbian Politika newspaper ahead of his visit to Belgrade on Friday.

"We warned that introducing into the international practice a model of declaring the independence of certain territories would create a precedent," the Russian foreign minister said.

"We have stated many times that the western alliance led by the US has been broadly applying double standards of late thus violating the fundamental principles of the international law and without hesitating to directly interfere in the domestic affairs of sovereign states," he said.

The consequences of this stance have affected the people of the former Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and today Ukraine where ultranationalists took power as a result of the February 2014 coup in Kiev backed by Washington and Brussels and "by their actions brought the country to the brink of collapse and unleashed the bloody civil war," he said.

Amid those events, the citizens of Crimea "in full compliance with the norms of the international law," namely with the right of people to self-determination enshrined in Article 1 of the UN Charter and many other international documents, called at a referendum in March 2014 for proclaiming independence from Ukraine and rejoining Russia, Lavrov said.

"In this context, the attempts to cast doubt on the Crimeans’ free expression of will by those who orchestrated Kosovo’s separation from Serbia, without any referendum, are purely absurd," he said.

Lavrov stressed that Russia’s position on the Kosovo issue is simply clear and unchanged. "Solving this issue is possible only based on the international law and in the framework defined by the UN Security Council Resolution 1244," he said.

Speaking on Belgrade’s efforts in this direction, Lavrov said "we would accept only those decisions that will satisfy Serbia." "On our part, we are ready to provide our Serbian partners with further necessary assistance," he stressed.