The EU has apparently stepped up to the plate. In an article published by the Associated Press today, Constant Brand writes that there is “virtual unanimity” among EU nations supporting Kosovo’s independence . . . except for Cyprus. Cyprus has made it crystal clear that they will not be changing their position.
Serbia’s partner in crime, Russia, like a rabid lemming, responded to EU solidarity (Russia was banking on the EU not having any solidarity . . . bad gamble) by issuing the usual threats of “consequences” for anyone that supports Kosovo independence. What are the consequences Mr. Lavrov? No oil for people during the winter again? Or maybe ordering more journalists to be shot?
‘Virtual unanimity’ among EU nations on Kosovo’s bid for independence, but Cyprus holding out
European Union foreign ministers were locked in talks Monday with lone holdout Cyprus over whether the bloc should recognize Kosovo’s drive for independence from Serbia.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said there was “virtual unanimity” among EU nations on supporting phased-in independence for Kosovo — but he said one member nation was refusing to back Kosovo’s sovereignty. He did not name the member, but in Nicosia, a government spokesman said Cyprus — itself a divided nation — maintains its opposition to any unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo. In Pristina, meanwhile, officials said Kosovo would declare independence well before May — and pressed EU ministers to agree to back it bid for sovereignty.
EU foreign ministers were discussing the bloc’s stance on Kosovo on Monday in the wake of failure by international mediators to negotiate a compromise on Kosovo’s future status by Monday’s U.N. deadline. Serbiahas rejected a proposal for phased-in, supervised statehood for Kosovo, a region it considers its historic homeland. The foreign minister of Russia, Serbia’s traditional ally, warned of the consequences of a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians.
“I would like to stress that in the event that Kosovo unilaterally declares independence, and that independence is recognized, this will not be without consequences,” Sergey Lavrov said after talks with Cyprus’ president Monday. Lavrov, who is to meet with EU foreign ministers later Monday, has accused the West of encouraging Kosovo to declare independence, a move he has said would rekindle hostilities in the province and erode global stability. Earlier, several EU nations — including Spain, Slovakia, Greece and Romania — had expressed fears that backing Kosovo’s bid could set an international precedent and boost separatist sentiments across Europe. But they indicated Monday that they were willing support the province — even without a U.N. Security Council resolution, officials said.
“Most of all the countries would have liked that to be the case, but if that is not the case, we will have to move forward,” Bildt said.