Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Various international positions and declarations here:

European Union countries have been split on Kosovo's act. Its four major member nations, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, along with the United States, were expected Monday to formally recognize Kosovo's independence from Serbia, while Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain oppose recognizing Kosovo's move, at least in the short term for fear that it would become a dangerous precedent for other separatist movements. Still others like Malta and Portugal proposed that Kosovo's future be decided at the UN Security Council.

Some of the declarations agin' it:

Russia of course - strong on sarcasm:

Russia condemned Kosovo's proclamation, and demanded an urgent UN Security Council meeting on the issue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We expect the UN Mission in Kosovo and NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) will take immediate action to fulfill their mandates as authorized by the UN Security Council, including voiding the decisions of the Pristina local government and adopting severe administrative measures against them," said the statement.

Spain - handwringing:

The Spanish government on Sunday expressed its opposition to Kosovo's independence, saying it is beyond international laws for Kosovo to unilaterally declare its separation from Serbia.

It also said the declaration would harm peace in the Balkan region, setting a dangerous precedent for regions where separatism exits.

Czech Republic:

Czech President Vaclav Klaus warned Sunday that Kosovo's independence could trigger a domino effect in other European countries.

"Some parties in other states could realize that they do not feel completely at ease within a big state in which they are now," Klaus said in a television interview.

Czech Foreign Ministry spokesman Zuzana Opletalova said the ministry has taken note of Kosovo's declaration of independence, but it is up to the EU to adopt a joint position regarding the recognition of the independence.

(...i.e. Czechs not recognising it but kinda-coyly hiding their opposition behind that "it's up to the EU" feint, fact being they know the EU is sharply divided so won't/can't recognise Kosovo - only "joint EU position" on this issue being usual smarmy statement saying "the EU calls on all parties to show moderation and restraint"... lol! )


The Slovak Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that it will not recognize Kosovo as an independent state for now. It will consider its next steps according to further developments and measures international organizations would take, the ministry said.

Slightly more coldly-formal version of the Czech statement??


North-Seas contingent sounds unenthusiastic...???

The German government has yet to decide whether it would recognize an officially independent Kosovo.
The Netherlands and Sweden have both expressed caution over Kosovo's independence. Both countries said they will not decide whether to recognize the independence of Kosovo until they studied the whole situation carefully.

In Stockholm, Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere called all parties to do their utmost to maintain calm and order in and around Kosovo.

"Throughout the status negotiations, Norway has stressed the importance of finding a solution both parties could agree to and that thus also could lead to a new UN Security Council resolution. It is deeply regrettable that this has not been possible," Stoere said in a statement.

Only ones actually clapping seem to be Albania USA UK and France?

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Sun Feb 17th, 2008 at 07:10:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Italy seems to be keeping very quiet so far, indeed is even muter than pre-electorally justifiable.  However, Cuba's Prensa Latina put it in the anti-recognition camp... misunderstanding or scoop???  Can't find a trace of a position-statement in the Italian papers though, which is kinda-weird in itself -- so my bet is it's so queasy+conflicted on this issue it's silently tagging along in Germany's wake... they may well both band up with the Netherlands and Scandinavians by saying they're-with-the-EU but the-EU-should-pause-for-reflection-n'-search-for-unity?

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami
by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Sun Feb 17th, 2008 at 07:47:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The lack of recognition from some countries--say, Sweden--is purposeful as a safeguard against Albanian forays into Northern Kosovo. The EU wants to keep using the carrot and stick approach.

I don't know why though since eventually the Serbs will either split off the north or leave it altogether.

Let's face it. The international community and the Albanians have been arguing, "We can't live with Serbia." I fail to see how that logic doesn't also apply to Serbs in Kosovo.

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 17th, 2008 at 10:54:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One has to take the declarations of "first studying the situation" with great cynism. It's not like the emergence of this situation wasn't to be expected, and it strains credulity that the foreign ministries didn't have well-prepared scenarios. I think these declarations are meant to play for time.

i.e. Czechs not recognising it but kinda-coyly hiding their opposition behind that "it's up to the EU" feint

I don't know. Even if from the same party, the President and the government aren't the same thing. It may be that Klaus is paranoid about a re-emergence of the Sudeten-German question, or even the appearance of Moravian separatism out of thin air, while the government is just being bashful in its Atlanticism.

Slovakia: ... Slightly more coldly-formal version of the Czech statement??

In Slovakia's case, I think diplomatic language is only meant to leave wiggle room. The nationalist-dominated Slovakian government's concern is a break-away of ethnic-Hungarian-majority areas in the South of the country.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 18th, 2008 at 04:34:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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