09:32 | 07/ 03/ 2008
UNITED NATIONS, March 7 (RIA Novosti) - On Serbia's request, Russia has called for a session of the UN Security Council to be held next Tuesday to discuss Kosovo, a spokesperson for Russia's office to the UN told reporters on Friday.
Supported by Russia, which has strongly opposed Kosovo's independence, Serbia called on Thursday for a new UN Security Council session to be held on Kosovo's secession. Russia holds the rotating UN Security Council presidency in March.
A previous Security Council session, held shortly after Kosovo declared independence on February 17, ended without agreement on a resolution or a joint statement regarding the "world's newest state."
Speaking after a meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic in New York on Thursday, Viltaly Churkin, Russia's envoy to the UN Security Council, said Russia was "attentively following the situation in Kosovo."
Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's envoy to the European Union, said his country was not exerting pressure on EU member states not to recognize Kosovo's unilateral independence.
"The lack of unity in the EU on the recognition of Kosovo's independence is not a result of Russia's attempts to divide the European Union," Chizov told the press in Brussels.
The official said he believed this was not an end to the Balkan crisis, but a transition to a new stage of it.
"I am very much afraid that this phase will be more intense than the last one," Chizhov said.
So far over 25 states, including the United States, Australia, Japan and major European countries, have formally recognized the Republic of Kosovo.
Belgrade has recalled its ambassadors from a number of countries recognizing Kosovo's independence. Russia has pledged to block any move by Kosovo to join the United Nations.