Kosovo is days away from independence
Kosovan independence has gone from being a regional political issue to become a truly international matter. Now that secession seems unavoidable, arguments against independence emphasize claims that an independent Kosovo would spark a chain reaction among separist groups around the world.
For obvious reasons, Serbian media have laid great emphasis on this matter. Serbian broadcasting company B92 displayed the words of the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergei Lavrov, on its website, who insisted last week that “Recognition of Kosovo's unilateral independence would set a precedent for some 200 territories”. The same website refers to an article in Spanish journal ABC, which states that independence would be a “mistake” and claimed that Spain's opinion had not been heard by the EU.
The list of countries backing Kosovan independence is slowly increasing: the US, Germany, Albania and Montenegro have openly declared their support. It is estimated that approximately twenty EU countries are favourable towards secession. Russia and Serbia, however, are strongly opposed to it, while Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Greece and Slovakia have so far been reticent. Council of Europe Secretary General, Terry Davis, has stated that he intends to defend the territorial integrity of the Serbian state.
Opinions are also divided in the UN Security Council, where a Russian veto could block any agreement.