Russia's position on Kosovo "firm and reliable"

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Russia's position on Kosovo "firm and reliable"

BELGRADE -- Russian Ambassador Aleksandr Chepurin has said that his country's position not to recognize Kosovo as independent was "firm and reliable."

"It's a firm and reliable position and we have proved that many times," he said during a panel dubbed, "From Kosovo to Crimea: Unilateralism and Manipulations of the Right to Self-Determination."

Chepurin added that "here Russia supports the Serbs," and would continue to do so.

"Russia's stance is clear and firm and that is a tradition that does not change," he said, when asked "under which circumstances" his country would recognize Kosovo.

"There is UN Security Council Resolution 1244, legally binding for everyone in the world, and its essence is that Kosovo is under the sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia," he added.

"In line with all valid international documents, Kosovo is a part of Serbia," the Russian diplomat said, and added that "the relationship between Belgrade and Priština represents a completely different issue."

He argued that, conversely, no such resolution regulates the status of Crime - a peninsula gifted to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev, when both Russia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union. Chepurin added that the move was not line with the Soviet Constitution.

"Kosovo never before the Second World War had the territory that it has today. Crimea has a statehood tradition going back to the 15th century," he said.

Chepurin also stated that a coup took place in Kiev and that the new authorities did not receive the backing from all regions of Ukraine.

"The new authorities undertook unilateral steps that diminished Crimea's autonomy....

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