Russians block independence
The week's news at a glance.
For the third time, Russia has shot down a draft U.N. plan for the eventual independence of Kosovo from Serbia. Fed up with Russian intransigence, E.U. Foreign Minister Javier Solana said that while he hoped Kosovos status could still be decided in the context of a United Nations resolution, he might take negotiations to the six-nation Balkan Contact Group, where Moscow has a seat but not a veto. Russian opposition to Kosovo independence is based on both its traditional support for fellow Slavs and its fear that the move would set a precedent for separatist Russian provinces.