Russia warns EU, NATO of “illegal” Kosovo moves

BRUSSELS, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Russia warned the European Union and NATO on Wednesday that their presence in Kosovo would be illegal if they acted in support of a self-proclaimed independent state.Russian ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said the EU had no basis in international law to deploy a police and justice mission in the breakaway Serbian province, since that required a United Nations mandate.

Moscow has backed Belgrade’s refusal to allow Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority their own state, blocking a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have granted the territory supervised independence.

“Any attempt to circumvent the U.N. Security Council would put the EU mission on a very shaky legal basis,” Chizhov told a news conference.

He said the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo known as KFOR would be in breach of its U.N. mandate if for example it intervened to put down protests by Kosovo’s Serb minority against a declaration of independence.

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