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Russia on the Kosovo Status
December 14, 2007 14:56

Kosovo may declare its independence early in 2008. The U.S. and leading allies would prefer proceeding under the supervised statehood plan, even without a U.N. agreement. Russia is pressing for more talks, pointing out that Kosovo separation can provoke a precedent for other countries.

December 7 the mediator on Kosovo problem (the USA, the UN and Russia) failed to agree on the Kosovo status during the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina. The United States, the European Union and Russia reported to the secretary-general that negotiations failed because "neither party was willing to cede its position on the fundamental question of sovereignty," according to a copy obtained by The Associated Press. The mediators’ report is set to be discussed on December 19.

The US and EU say that the negotiations are failed, as the status whether Kosovo should remain part of Serbia or become independent remains undetermined. Still the absence of common agreement doesn’t mean for the States an absence of Kosovo status. They push the situation further and turn it into their own favor. Rice is not going to put off obvious for the States decision and presses for a gradual, supervised move to statehood for Kosovo. So the United States and European countries said they wanted a period of consultations with Kosovo's leaders on how to move forward.

 Russia suggested continuing the negotiations, what was accepted by Belgrade as a hope for the state unity. The Serbian PM Voislav Koshtunitsa claimed Serbia was ready to hold negotiations both on its territory and in Kosovo. To what the American Secretary Condoleezza Rice announced that the US would not support more negotiations.

"I think that process is at an end," she told reporters in Brussels.

So Kosovo backed by the United States and most European countries (excluding Cyprus), is expected to declare independence from Serbia in the coming months, possibly in January. There is another variant, the Kosovo’s status can be delayed until after Serbia’s presidential election, tentatively scheduled for Jan. 20. In this case the Kosovo’s status is to be declared in the early spring.

At the moment Russia and Belgrade oppose Kosovo separation and any decision without a UN agreement is to be announced illegal by Russia. The Russia’s position is based on Security Council resolution 1244 (1999). In this case Russia is to demand the cancellation of the decision.

Serbia even intends to apply to the International Court UN to prevent granting independence to Kosovo. Belgrade is to employ all peaceful measures to preserve state’s unity.

Most European countries are ready to recognize Kosovo within the EU. The main Kosovo allies, the USA, Great Britain, France and Germany are looking forward to setting Kosovo’s statehood, to fixing with it the diplomatic relations and exchanging ambassadors.

Others, notably Spain, Romania, Slovakia and Greece, are more cautious, sharing fears that Kosovo independence without agreement from Serbia could encourage separatist movements elsewhere.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs tells that the Kosovo’s recognition without UN agreement can cause a precedent. Russia is hinting at possible recognition of Abkhazia and South Osetia, at the moment Georgia’s area. Moscow says that such a situation can’t help being a precedent.

Still the States press with their authority and insist that Kosovo can’t serve as a precedent, every case is different. Mettew Braise, the Deputy Head of the department of Europe and Eurasia of the US Department of State even threaded Russia (in case of Abkhazia and South Osetia recognition) to interfere into Russia’s unity and recognize Chechnya.

Mr. Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, stated that to preserve the Russia sovereignty is very important. He considers that the military campaign against Russia by the Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev could be possibly funded by foreign states, so the Chechen separation was not the Chechen people desire.

The Balkan Peninsula used to launch international conflicts. Time is to show the outcome of this one. Kosovo plans to join the EU after the separation. Is it the way for Serbia, as a European country? The Kosovo is under UN control for about eight years, the talks are being held for a year and a half, so Rice must be right to say that all the sides had enough time to take someone’s position or to talk round the opposition. Whatever and whenever the mediators decide, the Kosovo’s status should be determined on the political level only, that is peacefully.


Irina Fomina


Tags: Russia International     

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