Effort may lack UN legality, but is politically practical, say many diplomats, despite Serb anger.
The Russian president hinted for the first time, however, that the balance of power shift in his favor if he becomes prime minister.
Despite Serbia's ire, province may declare independence as soon as Sunday.
Belgrade power broker Vojislav Kostunica is shaking the newly elected government over Kosovo.
The province, expected to declare statehood in coming days, is also drafting a constitution and will choose an anthem.
Whether gazing at a computer or into the eyes of a former dictator, numbers cruncher Patrick Ball is on the front lines of justice.