Serbia-Montenegro will not accept independent Kosovo, minister says

During a visit to Finland, Draskovic said Belgrade could not agree to "a decision internationally recognizing an Albanian state on the territory of a Serbian state."

When asked whether he was satisfied with U.N.-led talks on Kosovo's future, he said "no," but did not elaborate, except to say "we are far away from compromise ... and Serbia wants stability in the region as soon as possible."

"An independent state of Kosovo will be not only against the charter of the United Nations, but such an imposed decision would be against the will of Belgrade or Serbia," Draskovic said in Helsinki. "Serbian people ... all over the world will understand it as a sense of humiliation."

Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations and patrolled by international peacekeepers since a 1999 NATO air war halted a crackdown by Serb forces on separatist ethnic Albanians, the AP reports.

Draskovic said Serbia recognizes the results of Montenegro's referendum, but added that mentally, the people of the two republics could never be separated.

"As far as citizens of Serbia and Montenegro are concerned ... such divorce is impossible because Serbs and Montenegrins are the same family," he said.

Speaking to reporters at a joint news conference after talks with Draskovic, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said the western Balkans would be a priority during Finland's EU presidency that begins July 1.

After the split of Serbia and Montenegro, Serbia inherits membership of international organizations, while Montenegro must apply as a new member. Both aspire to join the EU, but will now pursue membership separately.

Serbia's path remains blocked until it extradites former Bosnian Serb commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic, to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Netherlands to answer for atrocities related to the 1992-1995 Bosnian war.