It seems like a decision on Kosovo's status will be delayed four to six months following Russia's rejection of the third attempt by the US-EU to get approval for a draft resolution on Kosovo in the UN Security Council. One thing that I've noticed in some recent news articles is that instead of Kosovo being reported as 90% Albanian, the number has jumped to 95% Albanian. I'm thinking that this partly is due to Kosovo having the highest birth rate in Europe and another part might be that Serbs have been leaving Kosovo in fears of the looming independence.
In a somewhat laughable press conference, Kosovo PM Agim Ceku has suggested that the EU sidestep the UN and give Kosovo independence and take over the mission. Almost immediately Ceku's statements were shot down by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solano who stated that the EU was united in its position with the UN Security Council. Ceku has stated "we need to stop pretending that the Security Council has the answer to every question" in which Solano responded that the EU doesn't share the same "sort of intrinsic pessimism about the United Nations".
The UN has banned the use of rubber bullets in all peacekeeping missions following reports on the deadly February 2007 demonstration in Kosovo where two Vetevendosje protestors were killed by Romanian riot police firing into the crowd. A directive issued by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations headquartered in New York temporarily suspended the carriage and use of rubber bullets and bean-bag rounds by UN peacekeeping forces until further notice. Other UN missions with rubber bullets (East Timor, Ivory Coast, Haiti, Congo, Liberia) have been ordered to secure the suspended ordnances in a safe location until otherwise directed.
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