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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S., EU Back Away on Kosovo

UNITED NATIONS -- A UN Security Council resolution on Kosovo's future was set aside Friday in the face of a possible Russian veto.

U.S. and European Union supporters of the draft opted instead to pursue negotiations through a multinational group outside the council, diplomats said.

Discussions on the province will be handled by the Contact Group on Kosovo -- which includes representatives from the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany and Russia -- as well as the affected parties, France's UN ambassador said.

The decision to avoid a vote came after lengthy discussions and various drafts failed to appease Russia, which has backed Serbia in its opposition to Kosovo's independence. Russia had maintained that the draft was a hidden route to independence.

"We regret ... that it has been impossible to secure such a resolution in the United Nations Security Council," said France's Jean Marc de la Sabliere, reading a statement on behalf of the co-sponsors after the council gathering

The statement stressed that it was important to determine the status of the province in the near future.

Russia's UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said Friday that his country was opposed to the resolution because of "the principle of territorial integrity."

"There is also, I think, a very strong political motivation not to reward aggressive separatist inclinations," he said.