Friday, 22 February 2008

Notes on Kosovo

Written 30/07/2008, seemed relevant for anyone doing google searcehs :-p

As I see it, it's a pissing match between Russia and the US. EU will remain more docile worried about the gas from Russia, although the UK will probably stick harder with the US for i) traditonal reasons 'strong relatinoship' ii) The Livthinkenyo murder and the associated expulsions of Russian diplomats.

Putin doesn't care about Serb/Slav protection or historical links. The slav brothers have been used as a pretext to get involved in foreign conflict since WW1. What he most cares about is pwning Bush and establishing firmly that he can challenge US hegemony and reversing the embarrassment of having the Russian brokered peace agreement, after 1999 bombing, being largely walked over by NATO. He wants to send hte diplomatic message that you cannot treat Russia like that, when we agree to contractal terms, you must stick by them. Furthermore, there's the minor stuff of Russia being hypocrtical of Checnia if it supported independence and Spain for the same reason, they have their own independent movement.

I read this article by an international lawyer, was quite interesting saying that the only legal method of independence is partition. The UN holds Kosovo on Trust, this does not entitle it legally to give it away to a new soverign. Holding a country on Trust is not a legal method of annexation of terrirtory so no good title passes. The only legal way, is a 85% 15% split, where Serbia retains control of the majority Serb areas (15%) and Kosovo the rest. I also read in other aticles, that de facto, Serbia is already in control of the Serb areas of Kosvo where Kosovo does not try and exercise authority.

In sum, main obstacales to independence

  • Increasing tension between US and Russia.
  • Dosile EU, effectively hooked on Russian gas.
  • Concern for Kosovar-serbs (10%, 200,000)
  • Lack of strong economy or muscular legal institutions (corruption, lack of energy)
  • Serbian insecurity that an independent Kosovo will lead to a rise in ultra-nationalist elements.
  • Political mis-mangement in Serbia, should be telling the public they want to keep 10-15% of Kosovo that is full of Serbs.
  • Minor concerns about multi-ethnicity being compromised
  • Jurisprudential questions of the legality of Kosovian independence.

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