MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged Middle Eastern states not to recognise Kosovan independence on Tuesday, warning that this could encourage other breakaway regions.
“Undoubtedly serious human rights abuses have occurred,” Lavrov told the state newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta in an interview published before he was due to hold talks with Middle Eastern leaders.
“I would like to warn against the temptation to give in to calls from non-Arab and non-Islamic states addressed to Islamic countries to show Islamic solidarity and recognise Kosovo,” he continued.
“Efforts continue to be made in Kosovo to force people to live in a state created illegally.
“Disorder has also begun in other countries, You can see what’s happening in the Chinese autonomous region of Tibet,” Lavrov said.
Lavrov was to leave on Wednesday for talks in Damascus, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah, Rossiyskaya Gazeta said.
Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has vehemently opposed the unilateral declaration of independence made in February by the majority ethnic Albanian territory of Kosovo.
Moscow insists that a resolution of Kosovo’s status can only come with Belgrade’s consent.