Serb MPs threaten to cut ties with EU

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The Independent Online

Serbia is heading towards international isolation with the adoption of a parliamentary resolution to sever diplomatic ties with the United States and European Union countries if they recognise independence for the province of Kosovo.

The document debated yesterday says that Serbia must "reconsider" diplomatic ties with Western countries that recognise Kosovo's statehood.

The resolution, created under the nationalist Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica, also said that Serbia must "act efficiently to protect the lives and property" of non-Albanians in Kosovo if it proclaims independence, but falls short of mentioning any military options.

Mr Kostunica yesterday denounced US support for a the expected declaration of independence by the newly elected Kosovo government in the coming weeks. The resolution also rejects the idea of a 1,800-member EU mission to replace the UN administration that took over in 1999 in the province until its status is resolved by the UN.

Although not mentioned in the resolution, Serbia is expected to announce an economic embargo against the province, which mostly depends on it for electricity and food.