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Russia believes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon exceeded his authority in bypassing
Russia believes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon exceeded his authority in bypassing the UN Security Council and calling for a reconfiguration of the UN mission in Kosovo, Russia's envoy said on Friday.

The EU has welcomed the UN chief's proposal that the UN cede its powers to the government of Kosovo and to a 2,200-strong EU mission to be deployed there, while Russia and Serbia have resisted the plans.

"In this situation the secretary general exceeded his authority, encroaching into the charter prerogatives of the UN Security Council," Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told the Security Council.

The Security Council is currently discussing Ban Ki-moon's report on the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

"Russia is concerned by attempts to destroy the formats of the international presence in Kosovo established by the UN Security Council, under the pretext that they allegedly fail to correspond to changed realities. We see these attempts as a drive to legalize the structure set to carry out [former UN special envoy Martti] Ahtisaari's plan [for Kosovo's independence], which has not received the UN Security Council's approval," Churkin said.

Kosovo, with a 90% ethnic-Albanian majority, has been formally recognized as a sovereign state by 43 UN member states, including the U.S. and most EU members since it proclaimed its independence from Serbia on February 17.

Russia, Serbia's long-time ally and a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, has refused to recognize Kosovo's independence.

Churkin also demanded that the UN Security Council be shown the results of an independent investigation into clashes between ethnic Serbs and police in the northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica in March, in which over 100 people were injured.

"We still insist that the UN Security Council be given these results as soon as possible. Ban Ki-moon gave his assurances to the Council on this," the envoy said.

Northern Kosovo remains out of bounds for the EU police mission in the province. Last month, Serbs set up their own legislature in Mitrovica, directly challenging the authority of the Kosovo government.


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