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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UN Plan for Kosovo Released

PARIS -- UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari presented his proposals for the final status of Kosovo on Friday, likely setting the tiny, war-torn territory on its way toward independence.

Although that goal is still months away and subject to a vote at the United Nations, the presentation of a plan is an important step in resolving the still potentially explosive tensions that led to war in Europe just eight years ago.

The recommendations would leave the former Yugoslav province free to declare independence from Serbia, said Western diplomats who discussed the plan that will be made public next week. But they say the plan would also impose international supervision, much like what exists in Bosnia, in what appears to be an attempt to provide protection for Kosovo's ethnic Serb minority.

Even with the promise of international involvement, the diplomats say, Russia, a Serbian ally whose support is key, remains cool to the plan.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos on Saturday, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the solution of the Kosovo problem should serve as a model for dealing with other so-called frozen conflicts.

In the past, Russian officials have said the outcome in Kosovo could be viewed as a precedent for solving the conflicts in the breakaway Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Medvedev said Ahtisaari's proposals needed to be examined further.

(NYT, MT)