Western UN SC members welcome Russia, China oppose agreement

NEWS 08.02.2019 11:45
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Source: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

Western UN Security Council members welcome the agreement to reduce the number of sessions that body devotes to Kosovo, reiterating that UNMIK should start it withdrawal despite opposition from Russia and China.

The agreement is to hold three more sessions on Kosovo in 2019 and two in 2020.  

UK Ambassador Karen Pierce told Thursday’s session that the situation had changed dramatically in Kosovo since UNMIK first deployed to play an important role in promoting peace and stability, adding that Kosovo is no longer in a state of conflict. The decision to reduce the number of meetings on Kosovo allows the Security Council to focus of more serious conflicts, she said.

US Ambassador Johnathan Cohen welcomed the agreement, reiterating that UNMIK has to adapt to the situation and called the Secretary General to launch the mission’s exit strategy. He said the time is right to secure a stable future for Kosovo, Serbia and the Western Balkans.

The ambassadors of Germany and France shared those views, saying that Kosovo had made huge progress since 1999 and calling for progress in resolving the problem.

Russia’s ambassador Vasily Nebenzya said he can’t accept the decision to exclude Kosovo from the agenda of the Security Council which he said is the main forum to debate the issue. “The situation in the region is extremelly unstable and can spin out of control at any time,” he said, adding that Kosovo remains a source of instability and tensions in the region.

China’s Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu warned that Kosovo is facing “complex dynamics” despite the situation being mainly stable. He said Security Council resolution 1244 is a good basis to solve the Kosovo issue but added that the two sides should reach a solution through dialogue.