UN representative in Kosovo says unilateral steps cannot resolve issue of province's status

Head of the UN Civil Mission in Kosovo Michael Steiner said that unilateral steps cannot lead to resolving the issue of the province's status. In his annual address to journalists in Pristina, he said that "Belgrade has no authorities, and Pristina has no capabilities" for this.

Steiner recalled that the mandate of the UN Mission reads: "Kosovo. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia". The final decision on the province's status is to be adopted by the UN Security Council, but only after Kosovo achieves certain standards, Steiner said.

According to him, the inhabitants of Kosovo should co-operate with the European Union, develop bodies of power meeting EU requirements and they cannot "evade this prospect", Steiner said. He said the priorities of his mission for 2003 included fighting organised crime in the province, revival of its economy and returning home the exiled people.