Kosovo seen as precedent by four more new countries

STEPANAKERT (Tiraspol Times) - Despite Armenia’s declared position that Kosovo independence will not be

Kosovo's authorities plan to declare independence unilaterally,against the will of Serbia. The United States and most of the EuropeanUnion members have voiced their readiness to recognize Kosovo’sindependence despite Serbian objections.

" - We have no intentions to use Kosovo as precedent, as it willcontradict our position that all conflicts differ,” Armenia’s ForeignMinister Vardan Oskanyan declared at the UN General Assembly session inOctober. But he added that the Armenian side “does not understand andcannot accept the reverse logic that Kosovo was given independence andthat another nation cannot obtain self-determination."

Different degrees of freedom?

The foreign minister also stated that there can not be two sets ofrules when it comes to unrecognized countries, and that his countrywill not accept the concept that there can be different degrees offreedom or security depending on each case.

" - Nobody should tell us that there are proportions of freedom or security," Oskanyan said then.

His statement referred to the logic of Kosovo independence becominga precedent for resolving other conflicts located “east of Kosovo”,mainly the four self-declared republics in the territory of the formerUSSR – Transdniestria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh.

Despite the differences existing between the two conflicts, it ispatently clear that some aspects of the Kosovo settlement have thingsin common with these other conflicts, analysts stated. In the case withKosovo, the international community is in fact offering politicalindependence to an autonomous region despite the objection of thecountry that officially claims sovereignty over it.

Armenia's Deputy Parliament Speaker Vahan Hovhannisyan said thatregardless of the wish of the international negotiators involved in theKosovo resolution, the ultimate solution in Kosovo would be a factorinfluencing Nagorno-Karabakh's settlement as well. The same is true forTransdniestria, South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Abkhazia rejects non-objective mediators

The Republic of Abkhazia, next to Georgia, declared through a topdiplomat that if Kosovo’s independence is recognized by theinternational community and the move is not followed by its recognitionof Abkhazia’s right to sovereignty, then “the Abkhazian side willreject mediation by countries whose positions are not objective.”

David Gharabekyan, a political analyst from Nagorno-Karabakh, saysin this connection that “on Kosovo, the international community isacting as an advocate for self-determination.” But when it comes tosettling conflicts on post-Soviet territory, a number of influentialstates prefer "factual justification of the totalitarian policy in thenational issue," in other words clinging to the claims of a so-calledterritorial integrity which the claimant states have been unable toimpose for most of their existence.

On 10 December 1991 Nagorno-Karabakh held a referendum onindependence, which took place under unceasing Azerbaijan shelling ofthe capital Stepanakert. The overwhelming majority of Karabakh votersthen expressed their aspiration to build an independent state. Ten ofthose voters had been killed by the end of the day. (With information from ArmeniaNow)

TransnistriaAn"independence test" is underway, with diplomats from four new countriesclosely watching Kosovo for signs of a precedent for theseself-declared states to the east. The already de-facto independentcountries are Transdniestria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia andNagorno-Karabakh. Western powers have already ruled out any precedentin the case of Kosovo.



Publish Date: 

Monday, 17 December 2007