Kosovo is expected to declare independence within the next month. Russia says this could trigger instability in other nearby breakaway regions.
After more than eight years under a UN protectorate, and centuries of ethnic wrangling, Kosovo seems on the verge of settling its political statusâ€”sort of. On December 10, a UN deadline for settling the Serbian provinceâ€™s â€œfinal statusâ€ seems all but certain to pass without a clear resolution. The United States and many EU supporters of a supervised Kosovo independence plan are deadlocked with veto-wielding UN Security Council member Russia, which wants Kosovo to remain part of Serbia. At some point after December 10, Kosovoâ€™s ethnic Albanians, the overwhelming majority of the provinceâ€™s population, say they will unilaterally declare independence (AP). What might happen after that remains anyoneâ€™s guess, but international troops are bracing for possible violence (VOA).