Russia's stance on Kosovo status unchanged: ministry
Russia's position against Kosovo's declaration of independence remains unchanged, its foreign ministry said Thursday, despite an International Court of Justice ruling that it was not illegal.
"Our position on the non-recognition of the independence of Kosovo remains unchanged. We believe the resolution of the problem of Kosovo is possible only through negotiations between the interested parties," the ministry said in a statement.
"It is of the highest importance that the court has given its judgement on the declaration (by Kosovo of independence) underlining rightly that it was not examining on the whole the question of the right of Kosovo to separation from Serbia in a unilateral manner," it added without elaborating further.
Earlier Thursday, the top UN court gave its backing to Kosovo's 2008 independence declaration, saying it conformed to international law, despite protests by Serbia that it would never recognise the move.
Landlocked Kosovo, with its two million inhabitants -- 90 percent of them ethnic Albanians -- unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 after UN-brokered negotiations to resolve its future status failed.
Sixty-nine countries have so far recognised Kosovo as independent, including the United States and all but five of the 27 EU member states. Russia, which has historic ties with Belgrade, has not.
© 2010 AFP