BRUSSELS, May 27 (Reuters) - Secretary-General Kofi Annan will name Norway's ambassador to NATO, Kai Eide, to head a U.N. review aimed at paving the way for a decision on whether Kosovo should remain part of Serbia, a senior NATO diplomat said.
Eide, a Balkans expert and the former U.N. special representative in Bosnia, will be nominated either at a meeting of the U.N. Security Council later on Friday or early next week, said the diplomat, who requested anonymity.
The United Nations, which has administered the province of 2 million people since the Balkan wars of the 1990s, has set out a list of standards on human rights, security, law and democracy which Kosovo must show it is trying to meet before the issue of its eventual status can be taken up.
Washington said recently it wants the international community to move faster to resolve Kosovo's status. Kosovo's 90 percent ethnic Albanian majority demands independence while Belgrade insists the province remain a part of Serbia.
Annan is expected to tell the Security Council the review should be launched within months despite his misgivings over the pace of progress achieved by Kosovo leaders.
If Eide's review concludes that Kosovo is doing enough to try to meet the U.N. standards, a further round of diplomacy later this year will aim to determine Kosovo's future status.
Martti Ahtisaari, the Finnish former president who has long been involved in the Balkans, is seen as a front-runner for the post of "status envoy" to head those efforts.
The United Nations has governed Kosovo since 1999 after a NATO bombing campaign to halt Serb repression of its ethnic Albanians. Tens of thousands of Serbs fled the province to escape Albanians bent on revenge for Belgrade's harsh rule.