The Bush administration and the EU will support an independent Kosovo with or without a UN-backed plan. Serbs and Kosovo Albanians will conduct a last round of negotiations on the breakaway country's status before a Dec. 10 deadline. If that deadline passes, Kosovo will declare independence and the US and EU will immediately recognize it, the Times reports.
"There’s going to be an independent Kosovo," Condoleezza Rice said in an interview yesterday. Kosovo, administered as a UN protectorate since the 1999 air raid to end Serbian violence against ethnic Albanians, has pushed for independence. But the Serbian government has refused, and Vladimir Putin has also signaled his reluctance to recognize the breakaway province.