Serbia considers UN General Assembly vote a victory ‘for international law’ · Pristina disappointed by outcome and maintains independence is irreversible · Portugal, Macedonia, and Montenegro formally recognize Kosovo
On Wednesday the UN General Assembly approved a draft resolution presented by Serbia requesting the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to draw up an advisory and non-binding report on the legality of Kosovo independence. Although the ICJ will not release its report in the immediate future, the approval of the resolution marks a new phase for Kosovo because the international community is likely to be slower in granting formal recognition to the new state. Since Kosovo declared independence seven months ago it has been recognized by 50 out of the 192 UN member states.
Serbia has asked the ICJ to respond to the following question: "Is the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo in accordance with international law?"
Belgrade was overjoyed by the result of the General Assembly vote, defining it as a "great victory" not only for Serbia but also for "international law". Speaking at a press conference in Pristina Kosovar President Fatmir Sejdiu said he was disappointed by the decision but emphasized that "the majority of European Union and NATO member states, as well as all the G7 states" have now recognized Kosovo, making his country's independence "irreversible".
Recognitions trickle in
The list of countries that recognize Kosovo as an independent state continues to grow slowly but surely. On Tuesday Portugal acknowledged Kosovo's independence, and on Thursday it was the turn of Macedonia and Montenegro. Kosovo has now won the support of 50 states, including 22 EU members.