Reuters, July 03, 2008
Russia: U.N. chief exceeded authority over Kosovo
MOSCOW (Reuters) - United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon overstepped his authority by scaling back the United Nations mission in Kosovo, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview published on Thursday.
"We were surprised by the position of the U.N. secretary-general, who, bypassing the U.N. Security Council, drafted a ... declaration on the need to replace these forces," Medvedev said in an interview with media outlets from Group of Eight countries before a G8 summit in Japan next week.
"At the very least, these decisions should not be taken by the U.N secretary-general unilaterally, that is the competence of the Security Council," Medvedev said in the interview, a transcript of which was published early on Thursday on his official Internet site, www.kremlin.ru.
"Secondly, it is fairly strange when the Security Council has not spoken out, but the secretary-general has said something on this issue," Medvedev said.
Russia opposed Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia and has described as illegal a plan for the U.N. mission, which provides policing and other support in Kosovo, to hand over some functions to a European Union contingent.