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Russia slams EU for planned Kosovo justice mission

[JURIST] Russia Wednesday condemned [press statement] a decision [press release, PDF] by the European Union [official website] to send a task force of police, prosecutors and judges into Kosovo [JURIST news archive] to support the rule of law there after the expiry of the current UN mandate, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov [official profile] calling it "in breach of the highest international law." The roughly 2,000-strong police and justice mission [Reuters report] - EULEX Kosovo [planning website] for short - is expected to be deployed in Kosovo by June. Russia earlier rejected Kosovo's weekend declaration of independence from Serbia [JURIST report], warning that such unilateral action without the approval of the United Nations sets a dangerous precedent for "frozen conflicts" around the world.

On Monday, the United States and several key European Union powers formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state [JURIST report]. The Serbian government, which immediately denounced the unilateral declaration as illegal [press release], said Monday it would never recognize Kosovo as an independent entity. The Serbian Interior Ministry has filed treason charges [JURIST report] against Kosovo's prime minister, president and speaker of parliament for their roles in organizing the declaration of independence. The Guardian has more.

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