Russia Opposes United States concerning Precedent of Recognition of Kosovo’s Independence: Experts

Politics Materials 19 February 2008 19:01 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 19 February / corr. Trend A. Gasimova, R. Agayev, E. Huseynov/ The positions of United States and Russia differ in whether the recognition of Kosovo's independence will be a precedent for the other conflicts.

After the parliament of Kosovo unanimously ratified the Declaration on Independence of the Province on 17 February, the United States announced its support of the decision of the Kosovo parliament, however Russia insists on its annulment as it contradicts international law. Though representatives of almost all international organizations say that Kosovo is a special case and that it is unprecedented for the other conflicts, Russia does not think so.

Kosovo is a precedent for all countries who have a region populated with some ethnic groups, Sergey Markov, a high ranking Russian expert said. "It concerns all similar bodies in CIS ( Commonwealth of Independent Countries) territory, including Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the Trans-Dniester Region and Nagorno-Karabakh. In this case Washington betrayed Azerbaijan and its other strategic partners ignoring their vital interests," Markov, an MP of the Russian State Duma (Russian Parliament) and Director of the Institute for Political Studies said to Trend on 19 February.

The expert said that Washington does not have any arguments when it says that the independence of Kosovo does not set a precedent. "There was a military conflict, and mass ethnic crimes and ethnic cleansing was committed. The ethnic separatist group won with certain help from abroad. All who have a case as Kosovo in their country view it as a precedent," Markov said.

According to Markov, the reaction of Serbia and Russia to the declaration of Kosovo's independence resulted in other countries taking more clear and definite positions that earlier had doubts about the appropriateness of Kosovo's recognition. These countries include part of the European Union (EU) countries including Spain, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Slovakia and first of all countries who have ethnic minorities and problems with them. "These countries also include those who had conflicts with Muslims in the past. All these countries not only feel the threat of separatism, but also the establishment of a first Muslim state in Europe. It is also a striking precedent as well. The political ethics of European politicians does not allow them to speak about it, but it is an important factor that everyone understands," Markov stressed.

The analyst added that by not recognizing Kosovo some countries expressed their clear positions and the majority of countries outside EU support the policy of Russia, but not that of the United States. "The majority of world countries do not recognize Kosovo. It means that the Kosovo strategy will not be successful and the province will not gain full independence as it will not be a member of the UN. Russia, China and other countries will block the entry of Kosovo to the UN," said Markov and he is sure that Kosovo will not be a member of other organizations as well.

The MP stated that the people of Kosovo will struggle for the full dependence, but in vain, as all the problems that Russia warned about, will become real. "The relations of the Kosovo government with drug mafia will be revealed and the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society will not work together and the Serbs will not feel secure and Islamic emissaries will launch their activities in Kosovo. Therefore it will result in less support for Kosovo's independence," Markov added.

According to Dan Server, the high ranking American expert, the key issue is whether the sovereignty of other countries with 'frozen conflicts' will be recognized by other countries. "I think that Kosovo will be recognized by many world countries even if Moscow and Belgrade oppose it, but it does not have anything to do with other conflicts. The United States or the EU will not recognize them even if their recognition by Russia is under doubt," Server said to Trend by email on 19 February.

Since 1999, the Kosovo region, which is formally a part of Serbia, has been controlled by the UN. Kosovo strived for independence, but Serbia offered only the status of an autonomic region. The EU and USA are ready to recognize Kosovo's independence, while Russia supports the position of Belgrade

After Kosovo declared its independence, Belgrade declared the act of independence of the province to be invalid and called on the international community to cancel it as it contradicts international law. Russia, on its part demanded the self-declaration of Kosovo's independence to be canceled and the security of the part of the population of Kosovo who do not recognize its independence to be guaranteed.

Russia says that Kosovo will set a precedent for other conflicts, Sergey Ivanov, the Deputy Premier of Russia said to journalists in St-Petersburg.

There was a telephone conversation between the US and Russian foreign ministries on 19 February after Washington announced its support for Kosovo's independence. Russia says that the unilateral declaration of independence by Pristine is inadmissible, the Information and Seal Department of the Foreign Ministry of Russia said on 19 February.