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The situation in the Balkans dominated discussions between Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey and her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Tuesday.

This content was published on February 14, 2008 - 15:31

The two countries have opposing views on the independence of Kosovo.

While Calmy-Rey is on record as supporting Kosovo independence, Russia has consistently opposed it.

Kosovo independence would undermine security in Europe and the foundations of the United Nations charter, Lavrov told journalists.

The province is expected to announce its independence from Serbia later this week.

A Swiss foreign ministry media release said the two ministers would continue to exchange their views on the topic in the future as well.

Calmy-Rey and Lavrov also discussed ways to deepen bilateral relations, including closer cooperation in the areas of research, science and education, as well as cooperation between the Swiss and Russian economics ministries.

Switzerland and Russia intend to work together in the field of energy and also to collaborate in multilateral diplomacy.

Lavrov was in Geneva to address the UN conference on disarmament.

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