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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lavrov Warns G8 On Kosovo

ReutersSteinmeier, left, Lavrov and Rice getting ready for a group photo during their G8 talks in Potsdam on Wednesday.
POTSDAM, Germany -- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned other world powers on Wednesday not to decide the fate of Kosovo on their own, saying only talks between Belgrade and Pristina could solve an independence dispute.

"The fate of Kosovo, the fate of Serbia on the whole should be decided through their direct talks, rather than in New York, Potsdam or in any other formats," Lavrov said at the start of a meeting of Group of Eight foreign ministers.

Serbia, backed by Russia, opposes a plan proposed by United Nations mediator Martti Ahtisaari offering Kosovo independence under international supervision. Ahead of the meeting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stressed the need for UN Security Council action on Kosovo. "We need to make it clear to our Russian partners that without a decision by the Security Council we simply won't make any progress on the western Balkans and Kosovo," Steinmeier said.