Feature

U.N. backs independence

The week's news at a glance.

Pristina, Kosovo

Independence from Serbia is the only realistic option for Kosovo, a U.N. special envoy said this week. After a year mediating talks between ethnic Albanians, who are the majority in the Serbian province, and Serbs, Finnish diplomat Marti Ahtisaari made his official report to the Security Council recommending a split. Kosovo has been administered by the U.N. since 1999, when NATO airstrikes stopped a Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists. But Serbia has no intention of giving up the province, which plays a pivotal role in Serbian national history and identity. Russia, which wields a veto on the Security Council, is backing the Serbs.

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