SOFIA, April 29, 2006 (AFP) -
Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku accused Serbia on Saturday of not being "constructive" in talks over the final status of Kosovo, where the ethnic Albanian majority is demanding independence.
"Unfortunately, Belgrade has not been so constructive in this first round of negotiations," Ceku told journalists here on the sidelines of a conference on "Political strategies for the Balkans".
"Until now, Serbia has very much had an ethnic and territorial approach to these issues and we have a citizenship approach. There is our big difference," he said.
"The only resolution for Kosovo is an independent country, integrated in Europe and NATO and with good relationships with all its neighbours," Ceku added, referring to the province as "an emerging nation".
Ceku's statement came a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that independence for Kosovo was "a fairly dangerous path that could lead to dangerous consequences for the region."
"We don't agree with those trying to persuade us... that there is no alternative to Kosovo independence," Lavrov told reporters Friday during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Sofia.
Russia has long sided with Belgrade in challenging moves toward independence for Kosovo, a southern province of Serbia which has been administered by the United Nations since the end of a 1998-1999 war.
Serbs see Kosovo as the cradle of their culture and religion and Belgrade has refused to countenance independence, offering complete autonomy instead.
UN-backed talks between Belgrade and the ethnic Albanian government in Pristina on the ultimate status of the province began in February, with a conclusion expected by the end of the year.