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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lavrov Has Harsh Words for New EU Mission to Kosovo

The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday sharply criticized the European Union's decision to send a police and judiciary mission to Kosovo following the territory's declaration of independence from Serbia.

The mission violates international law because the decision was made without approval from the UN Security Council, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"The European Union unilaterally, without any approval from the UN Security Council, is ending a mission to Kosovo to provide for the rule of law," Lavrov said. "There is bitter irony, to put it mildly, in this name, because the mission will be providing for the rule of law in violation of the highest law -- in violation of international law."

Lavrov, speaking at a news conference with his Turkish counterpart, also repeated Russia's argument that existing Security Council resolutions say Kosovo is part of Serbia.

Lavrov's remarks were Moscow's latest verbal attack on Western countries that have supported Kosovo's drive for independence.

Earlier in the day, the Foreign Ministry released a statement saying the EU's approach to the independence declaration jeopardizes security in Europe and encourages separatism worldwide.

The EU itself does not officially recognize nations, but several EU countries have recognized Kosovo's independence claim, and a majority have said they would formally launch diplomatic ties with the continent's newest country.

Russia has sharply opposed Kosovo's Western-backed independence drive, saying no country's borders can be changed without all sides' consent and stressing it would not accept an outcome rejected by Serbia, a traditional ally.

On Monday, Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the declaration "threatens the destruction of the world order that has developed over decades" following World War II, according to the Foreign Ministry.