Serbian demands UN halt transfer of authority in Kosovo to EU

Serbia and Russia demanded Tuesday that the UN administration in Kosovo halt the transfer of authority to the European Union, calling a handover illegal and declaring they will never recognize the independence of the Serb province. But the United States and Britain, who were among the first countries to recognize Kosovo after its February 17 declaration of independence, said debates over whether Kosovo should secede are over and it is now time to address the future of an independent Kosovo and an independent Serbia in Europe. The EU is expected to take over UN administration of Kosovo and has sent a mission to the capital, Pristina, to promote the rule of law and implement Kosovo's pledges under a plan for supervised independence. The UN-drafted plan was never approved by the Security Council because of Russian opposition, but it is supported by Washington and key EU nations.