Kosovo recognition increases terror risk, warn leading Russians

Other News Materials 23 February 2008 19:03 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Outgoing President Vladimir Putin and other Russian politicians on Saturday again harshly criticized the international recognition of Kosovo, saying it would increase the terrorism risk.

"It is inevitable that such a gross violation of international law will increase the risk of terrorism," Putin's anti-terrorism representative Anatoli Safonov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

Separatism and terrorism were directly related, Safonov said.

Putin had already warned Friday that international recognition of Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia on Sunday, could trigger a whole chain of unpredictable events.

Kosovo was a "terrible precedent," breaking up "the whole system of international relations created in the past centuries," Putin said.

He accused the governments which had recognized Kosovo of failing to see the possible consequences of their actions.

However, despite all its verbal attacks, the Russian government has stressed repeatedly the military would not intervene to protect Serb interests.

"I am sure that our allies in the European Union know the Russian approach towards a solution of the Kosovo problem very well," the Kremlin's EU envoy Sergei Yastrshembski said in Moscow Saturday.

The Russian NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin meanwhile was angry at Western media reports that claimed he had threatened the West with "brute military force" over the Kosovo issue.

The reports were a "deliberate falsification of his spoken words," Rogozin said in Brussels.

According to Russian news agencies, Rogozin on Friday - in reaction to the recognition of Kosovo - had expressed his concern that "in future we will live in a world no longer ruled by international law, but by brute military force."

Rogozin also ruled out "completely" a possible Russian military intervention in Kosovo.