Analysis of Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence from Serbia

OK, so election stuff plus a research paper kept me from talking about this as it happened, but now let’s take a look back on all that’s happened.  On February 17th, 2008, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo declared their independence from Serbia.  Since then, some countries have weighed in (see below for the map).  Some Serbians rioted (1 assumed protester was found dead); our embassy in Belgrade got torched a little bit, causing all non-essential personnel to have to be evacuated to Agence France-Presse (apparently the world’s oldest news agency) – no biggie.

So, who recognizes the Republic of Kosovo as it’s own sovereign nation?  And should we?

Well, I say we absolutely should!  They were an oppressed region who the UN put under its control after the 1999 Kosovo War.  I think that for the people of Kosovo to be treated fairly, they HAD to secede.

According to a poll an unscientific ABC News poll on Facebook, 79% of people agree with me, 12% disagree, and 9% are unsure.  Some of the arguments I’ve heard are “What if Texas seceded?”  Well that’s different – Texas isn’t being oppressed.  (Not to mention that Texas could probably put up a heck of a fight.)

So, who says what about Kosovo?  Well, here’s a map from Wikipedia:

Admin edit – apparently Wikipedia updated it to just a recognizes / doesn’t recognize map. So here’s an updated version (this will update automatically as wikipedia updates it, so if you’ve visited this page and are coming back to it now, refresh [F5] to make sure that this map is up to date). The map above is the map version from when I originally posted this post, and the map below is the current map:

██ Kosovo

██ States which formally recognize Kosovo as independent.

██ States which have stated they intend to recognize formally Kosovo as independent.

██ States which have delayed or have expressed neutrality on recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

██ States which have expressed concern over unilateral moves or expressed wish for further negotiations.

██ States which have stated they will not recognize Kosovo as independent.

██ States with no reported position at present.

Now, let’s highlight some key countries:

  • The U.S. obviously supports it.
  • Essentially the entire former U.S.S.R. opposes it, and Russia is blocking its entry into the UN.
  • Costa Rica was the first (by local time) to recognize it – kinda odd.
  • Afghanistan was the first (by international time) to recognize it – again, seemed kinda odd.
  • Taiwan recognizes it, but Kosovo may not recognize them, in order to get China to side with them – this angered me a little, as I’ve always been a HUGE supporter of Taiwan, the TRUE China!  Here’s a quote from the Foreign Ministry: “We congratulate the Kosovo people on their winning independence and hope they enjoy the fruits of democracy and freedom. [...] Democracy and self-determination are the rights endorsed by the United Nations. The Republic of China always supports sovereign countries’ seeking democracy, sovereignty and independence through peaceful means.”
  • The British Kingdom (with the exception of Canada and South Africa) seems to have supported Kosovo.
  • Obviously Serbia doesn’t.
  • Oddly, Bosnia says not in the near future – most other countries who have seceded or are trying to have sided with Kosovo, so I thought they would.
  • Vietnam doesn’t – who didn’t guess that one.
  • China expressed “grave concern” (thus Kosovo’s reluctance to acknowledge Taiwan, since China is also a member of the UN Security Council).
  • South Korea is in favor of recognition, but still somewhat skeptical.
  • The Organization of the Islamic Conference backs Kosovo.
  • The International Olympic Committee does not plan on recognizing them.
  • The Basque Country, Catalan Government, Chechnya, Crimea, and Transnistria (at least their minister) all support Kosovo.
  • Western Sahara is bitter, because Kosovo was so quickly recognized and they weren’t.
  • Canada is in a pickle.  Their motherland, England has sided with Kosovo, but if they side with Kosovo, that sends a HUGE message to Quebec which has been trying to break free from the U.S. state of (I’m kidding – it’s a joke, so don’t get all offended about it) Canada for quite a while now.

So, go Kosovo! (and they’d better not change the name to Kosova – I’ve heard rumors and that’d be stupid).

 

Done Supporting FREEDOM,

Ranting Republican
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11 Responses to “Analysis of Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence from Serbia”

  1. hoppersean Says:

    Thanks for the Map and break down of who is and who isn’t on board.

    My wife’s family is from Croatia and is paying real close attention to what’s going on.

  2. freadom Says:

    Great post. I was not aware of any of this, and now I am informed.

  3. Albert Bakker Says:

    Well if your argument for secession is oppression as this is the reason Texas shouldn’t secede for example than that seems to directly translate into support for two more positions:

    1. Other “disputed areas” where people are oppressed should secede and be recognized by the same countries of your beautiful map and with the same speed, such as for example as Reuters reports: Transdniestria, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Nogorno-Kharabakh, Papua, Basque Country, Kurdistan and Western Sahara. Ofcourse the most glaring and pressing example that Reuters didn’t mention would be Palestine, others would be Tibet, Baluchistan, Tamil Eelam, Xinjiang, Hawaii, Kashmir, Taiwan etc.

    2. The Serbs inside Kosovo would be by that same argument entitled to secede from Kosovo and be recognized.

    Would you recognize all, or would you pick some and to what extent would you care to tailor your arguments to your political preferences?

  4. inkslwc Says:

    There do need to be guidelines when recognizing countries that secede – agreements should be attempted before secession.

    I don’t know about some of the disputed areas, but I do think that the Arabs in Palestine should have a recognized country, but many of the regions you listed off have not tried to secede.

  5. Albert Bakker Says:

    Yes, you are right that some countries or at least a strong political representation therein of the list I wrote down pragmatically opt for autonomy (sometimes further specified “substantial”) first, sovereignty later. In the case of Western Sahara the US and EU protectorate Morocco used that ploy and reversed it against the Saharaoui by offering “limited autonomy” which simply came down to the right to organize collecting their own garbage, but not much “autonomy” above that level, forcing the Saharaoui rethorically at least to refuse autonomy.

    The example of Kosovo, which was largely autonomous since 1999 under the UN umbrella – much in turn like “Kurdistan” for all practical purposes was to a large extent autonomous under the (illegal) no-fly zone protection during the murderous sanction years – are precedents that are carefully observed and studied not only in politically favorable places and the lessons learned will not only be effected on oppertune moments.

    And I wouldn’t mind either if agreements, presumably about some degree of autonomy or special rights were attempted to be made. Maybe in some world where power doesn’t count as much as this one and geopolitics has been banned it might even work now and then.

    But anyway on the subject of Kosovo, besides setting this dangerous precedent and again the display of double standards that go with it and the use of Kosovo as a pawn in the geopolitical game of the US and EU vs Russia, there is some serious blow-back in the making, the causality of which I understand, although I haven’t read it yet, is being dissected in Balkanalysis.com‘s Christopher Deliso’s book, “The Coming Balkan Caliphate: The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West.”

    Meanwhile I hope you will keep every reason to remain as enthusiastic about Kosovo independence in the future as you do now.

    Admin edit: Fixed the link for Balkanalysis.com.

  6. inkslwc Says:

    About your last statement about my enthusiasm – I do plan on keeping enthusiastic, but blind enthusiasm is dangerous. If a situation does present itself which reveals that this was a TERRIBLE idea, I would change my view. I don’t plan on it, but blindly following your 1st belief just because you don’t want to change it is far worse than being accused of flip-flopping.

  7. Albert Bakker Says:

    Well, actually I’m an enthusiastic flip-flopper too, I made it a habit to never pass on a better idea long ago. Hell, I call that progress. I disagree with you however and think it’s a very, very bad idea and we’ll see some real heavy blow-back. But regardless of how slim the chances of it are I would like for you to be right on this and I’ll change my mind accordingly. (I spelled the site wrong, it is balkanalysis.com, just to be accurate.)

  8. inkslwc Says:

    Thanks – I fixed the link.

  9. Nicolo Says:

    The “dangerous precedent” set is offset, I would say, by the fact that the Serbs attempted to “ethnically cleanse” this area, much as they did in Bosnia, and hence our bombing of Belgrade. I understand Bakker’s analysis. The blowback has the potential to be as serious as it was in Afghanistan, if we muddle too much in the Balkan tinderbox. First, the KLA is a thuggish organization that has set it sights on areas of Macedonia as a part of the Kosovo homeland. Whether Kosovo’s fledgling government will rein them in is a good question. They are, for all practical purposes, the military force in Kosovo. Second, Kosovo contains a Serbian shrine of sorts, akin to our Gettysburg. They fought the Battle of the Blackbirds in Kosovo protecting their Greek Orthodox homeland from invading Turks. They lost. But the Serbs are, in their minds, still fighting the Battle of the Blackbirds. They see the Kosovo people as the “Turks” for all practical purposes. The Serbs will not go quietly into that good night. We saw that in the Balkan wars, and that wasn’t even over an area of national identity like Kosovo. The Serbs still celebrate the Battle of the Blackbirds as a holiday, and even crown a “Miss Blackbird.” Third, the Russians back Serbia to the hilt, and with Putin at the helm that backing will be done overtly and covertly. Let’s just say that Mother Russia will not work in our interests, and will count this as another slight against them. The last interview I read with Putin was chilling. He’s definitely keeping score of the American slights, and he holds a lot of cards, namely oil, natural gas, and a lot of land and the money to rebuild, which he is doing presently, the Russian military. Remember that Russian bomber flying over one of our Navy carriers recently? That was a not so subtle message. Putin does not make many mistakes, and he holds a grudge.
    A big rant here, but this is something I follow.

  10. isaclear Says:

    Well, just wanted to additionaly say that we suffered for hundreds of years this and came to that point that we will defend our Republic Of Kosovo forever! At least the world saw who was wrong here! You guys need more lections on this thema and know the reality and don’t get your opinions just from one reading article!!!!!
    Long Live USA / Long Live Kosovo

  11. KIKIRIKI Says:

    KOSOVO IS HEART OF SERBIA!! KOSOVO JE SRCE SRBIJE!!

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