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  Thursday, July 2, 2020
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Russia's UN envoy denied allegations on Tuesday that Russia had threatened
Russia's UN envoy denied allegations on Tuesday that Russia had threatened to block a second term for UN chief Ban Ki-moon over his position on Kosovo.

The Times wrote last Friday that "Russia threatened to block him [Ban] from serving a second term as United Nations Secretary-General because of his stance on Kosovo."

The Serbian Albanian-dominated province proclaimed unilateral independence on February 17. As many as 37 countries, including the United States, have so far recognized Kosovo's sovereignty, while Serbia, Russia, China, India, Spain, Greece and a number of other countries oppose the unilateral move.

"This is a pure and simple fabrication," Churkin said adding that "no threats - veiled or direct - have ever been made."

"This is not a manner in which Russia does business with its international partners, certainly including the secretary general of the United Nations," he said.

The UN chief came to Moscow for a two-day visit last Wednesday, where he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President-elect Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Speaking about Kosovo, Medvedev, who will replace Putin early in May, told Ban that its recognition by a number of countries, including the U.S. and the majority of EU nations, had violated UN resolutions.

Opening talks with Ban, Lavrov pledged to strengthen the UN, admitting that "no other organization will be able to replace it." The UN chief said he was inspired by Lavrov's words and Putin's support for the international organization.

Ahead of Ban's visit Lavrov said that in order to stabilize the situation in Kosovo "[UN Security Council] Resolution 1244 should be taken as a guideline."

Resolution 1244 sanctions the United Nations to administer the Serb province, a UN protectorate since the 1999 NATO bombings that ended clashes between Serbs and Albanians.

Churkin stressed that Resolution 1244 remained in force until a new decision by the UN Security Council. However, he warned the UN against interfering in affairs that could have consequences for Kosovo's status.


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