Voices from Russia

Sunday, 17 February 2008

The Serbian Ambassador to Russia says that Serbia wants UN Security Council to declare that Kosovo’s declaration of independence was illegitimate

Filed under: patriotic,Russian,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Serbia is thankful to Russia for its position on Kosovo and hopes that the UN Security Council will rule that Kosovo independence is illegitimate. “Russia’s position on this issue is of course close to the Serbian position, which resents this illegitimate act [the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo]”, Stanimir Vukicevic, Serbian Ambassador to Russia told Interfax on Friday. “We will present our position at the upcoming session of the UN Security Council and will ask that the (unilateral declaration of) independence by Kosovo be declared an illegitimate act”, the ambassador said. Independence for Kosovo contradicts UN Security Council resolution 1244 and the Helsinki Accords, according to the ambassador. “This creates a dangerous precedent, which can be used in other regions of the world, where separatist movement exist”, Mr Vukicevic said.

17 February 2008

Interfax-Politics

http://www.interfax.ru/e/B/politics/28.html?menu=1&id_issue=11970920

Kosovo declares independence. Protests from Serbia and Russia

Filed under: patriotic,Russian,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Belgrade and Moscow reacted angrily to Kosovo’s Western-backed unilateral declaration of independence on Sunday, as the region remained braced for clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.

DECLARATION

“We have waited for this day for a very long time”, Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci told a packed parliament at the start of an emergency session called on Sunday afternoon to, as he said, “take decisions on the future of our nation”. He said the new state would be “proud, independent, and free”. Both Thaci and Kosovan President Fatmir Sejdiu pledged that the new state would respect the rights of all ethnic groups. Thaci also said that Kosovo was a unique case, and that it should not set a precedent for other secessionist regions. The vote for independence was unanimously passed with a show of hands. There were celebrations across Kosovo following the declaration, as thousands of people poured onto the streets of what is now, notwithstanding opposition from Serbia and Belgrade, amongst others, the world’s newest state.

REACTIONS FROM BELGRADE AND MOSCOW

Both Belgrade and Moscow reacted angrily to the declaration of independence by Kosovo. Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said that it “violates international order”, and that Kosovo was a “false state”. “Kosovo will forever remain a part of Serbia”, he said. “We do not recognise the forceful creation of this false state. We must support our countrymen in Kosovo”. “As long as the Serb people exist, Kosovo will be Serbia”, he went on (to say). Belgrade has ruled out the use of force to retake Kosovo, however.

Serbia’s main ally, Russia, immediately called for emergency UN Security Council consultations on the issue. Moscow is deeply opposed to the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo. It has said that it contradicts international law, and sets a dangerous precedent for other secessionist regions. The UN Security Council meeting called by Russia is due to be held at 18.00 UTC (21.00 MSK 13.00 EST 10.00 PST) on Sunday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence could lead to new conflicts in the Balkans. “The decision of the leaders of Kosovo is fraught [with the danger of] an escalation in tensions and ethnic violence in the province, and new conflicts in the Balkans”, the ministry announced on its website. A Kremlin spokesman called the declaration “illegitimate” on Russia’s Vesti TV channel. Russia, which has consistently maintained that independence for Kosovo contradicts UN Resolution 1244 on territorial integrity, also called on the UN and NATO to annul the declaration of sovereignty.

FEARS OF CLASHES

NATO peacekeeping troops are on alert, ready to deal with any clashes between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in the flashpoint town of Mitrovica, in northern Kosovo. A short time before the declaration of independence, Kosovo police stopped hundreds of Serbian reservists who had attempted to cross into the then-Serbian province to protest its breakaway from Belgrade. U.S. President George Bush, currently on a weeklong tour of Africa, said in Tanzania before the declaration that, “The United States will continue to work with our allies to the very best we can to make sure there’s no violence”. “We are heartened by the fact that the Kosovo government has clearly proclaimed its willingness and its desire to support Serbian rights in Kosovo”, he went on (to say).

The EU also called for calm. “We appeal to all parties in Kosovo and in the wider region to remain calm and not to respond to any provocation”, said EU spokesman Jens Mester. “The international community will not tolerate violent action in Kosovo”. The European Union has given its final approval for sending a civilian and police mission to Kosovo to replace the current UN mission, diplomatic sources in Brussels said on Saturday.

CONSEQUENCES

Russia has hinted that it may now recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “The declaration of sovereignty by Kosovo and its recognition will undoubtedly be taken into account in [Russia’s] relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia”, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday. Georgia, however, does not intend to recognize Kosovo’s independence, and the issue is not on the agenda, a parliamentary spokesman for the former Soviet republic has said. He said Georgia was more concerned by Russia’s stance on South Ossetia and Abkhazia. “The issue is not on the agenda. We care about the future of our territories”, he said. “We will wait and see what Russia does concerning Abkhazia and South Ossetia”. South Ossetia and Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia following bloody conflicts in the wake of the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse. Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia ended a conflict between Albanian and Serb forces in 1999.

17 February 2008

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20080217/99445340.html

Kosovo MPs Proclaim Independence

Filed under: patriotic,Russian,Serbia,Vladimir Putin — 01varvara @ 00.00

putin-vladimir-2-2.jpg

Kosovo declared independence on Sunday after an emergency session of parliament. Serbia reacted to the declaration saying it would never recognise the region’s independence under any circumstances. The unilateral declaration of independence by the region’s ethnic Albanian majority stems directly from strong support the separatists have received from the United States and leading EU countries. This unconditional backing strengthened the separatists’ hand during their talks with Belgrade, which offered them the widest autonomy one can ever think of. State Department lawyers in Washington wrote the very text of the declaration of independence and even the flag and constitution of this newborn state were designed in the US and the EU.

The unilateral declaration of independence for Kosovo is a flagrant violation of the principle of inviolability of borders enshrined in the UN Charter. It is also an attempt to legalise the results of the 1999 US and NATO aggression against Federal Yugoslavia. For the first time since the end of World War II, an independent European country has forcibly been broken up in violation of all existing principles of international law. During his news conference Thursday in Moscow, President Putin said, among other things, that… I would like to reiterate that Russia regards support for the unilateral declaration of Kosovo’s sovereignty as immoral and illegal. Basic international documents, including the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, assure the territorial integrity of Serbia, President Putin reminded his listeners.

Russia has warned repeatedly that the breakaway of the Kosovo province would have unpredictable consequences and set a dangerous precedent for other 200 independence-seeking regions around the world. The case of Kosovo is not unique. Miren Asqarte, the spokesman for the government of the Basque Country, already said on Sunday that their province is ready to follow Kosovo’s example. Russia is planning to start consultations within the UN Security Council. Only five of the fifteen members of the Security Council supported internationally supervised sovereignty in the Kosovo area at an emergency session on Thursday. At a news conference on Thursday, President Putin said that this country would propose to its partners to agree on common rules of the game. He said that if we were driven by so-called political expediency to serve the interests of certain countries, we would eventually ruin international law and order.

17 February 2008

Vladislav Chernukha

Voice of Russia World Service

www.ruvr.ru

Russia used exclusively legal methods in the issue of Kosovo’s status

Filed under: patriotic,Russian,Serbia,Sergei Lavrov — 01varvara @ 00.00

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia’s position on Kosovo was prompted by the consideration that encouraging separatist trends also creates problems elsewhere in the world, specifically in countries in close vicinity of Russia’s borders. He emphasised that Russia used exclusively legal methods in the issue of Kosovo’s status and will again resort to them during the forthcoming Security Council meeting. The France Presse news agency carried an article analysing the situation and it pointed out, among other things, that the proclamation of Kosovo’s independence may well trigger a domino effect in European countries with separatist movements. Spain, known for its Basque and Catalan separatists, has already warned it will not recognise the independent status of the Serbian province. Recognition of Kosovo’s independence could also affect Scotland and Belgium.

14 February 2008

Voice of Russia World Service

www.ruvr.ru

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