Friday, February 22, 2008

Putin warns West over Kosovo dispute

By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press Writer

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a sharp warning to the West on Friday about the consequences of recognizing Kosovo's independence, saying the decision would "come back to knock them on the head."

The televised comments, made during an informal meeting of leaders from former Soviet republics, were the strongest by the Kremlin leader since Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders issued their declaration of independence from Russian-allied Serbia.

Earlier in the day, Russia's envoy to NATO warned the alliance against overstepping its mandate in Kosovo and said Moscow might be forced to use "brute military force" to maintain respect on the world scene. Other Russian officials sought to tone down that view, saying the dispute should be resolved peacefully.

Putin used the meeting of presidents from the Commonwealth of Independent States — a loose, Russian-dominated organization of former Soviet states — to lambast Western nations that have recognized Kosovo's independence. Among those are the United States, Britain, Germany and France.

"The Kosovo precedent is a terrifying precedent. It in essence is breaking open the entire system of international relations that have prevailed not just for decades but for centuries. And it without a doubt will bring on itself an entire chain of unforeseen consequences," Putin said.

Governments that have recognized Kosovo "are miscalculating what they are doing," he added. "In the end, this is a stick with two ends and that other end will come back to knock them on the head someday."

Moscow has heatedly protested the Kosovo declaration, which has sparked violent protests by Serbs and international squabbling over whether to recognize the fledgling nation.

Russia's NATO ambassador, Dmitry Rogozin, said the Russian military might get involved if all European Union nations recognized Kosovo as independent without United Nations agreement.

"If the European Union works out a single position or NATO goes beyond its current mandate in Kosovo, these organizations will conflict with the United Nations," Rogozin said in a televised hookup from NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

If that happens, Russia "will proceed from the assumption that to be respected, we have to use brute military force," he said, although he later said that Russia was not making plans for any such confrontation.

Rogozin's comments sparked quick reaction. Nicholas Burns, the State Department's third-ranking official, called them "highly irresponsible."

"This cynical and ahistorical comment by the Russian ambassador should be repudiated by his own government," Burns said.

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, Russia's envoy to the European Union, used a more conciliatory tone, saying the Kosovo problem should be resolved exclusively by political means.

Russia has staunchly supported Serbia in opposing Kosovo's secession, and has vowed to block any effort in the United Nations to recognize its independence.

Russia has been joined in its opposition by China and others, including EU member Spain, who worry the Kosovo example might be viewed as a precedent by separatists in other places.

Predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo, which has been governed by a U.N. mission and patrolled by NATO peacekeepers since 1999, had been widely expected to declare independence from Serbia after internationally mediated talks on its future fell apart last year.



Vigilante said...

What part of "Ex-Yugoslavia" do the Russians not get?

uiyui said...

Today is the gold für wow second day of 2009 ,world of warcraft gold it also a mesos special for me .cheap wow gold Because i have cheap maplestory mesos a chance to go to an english speech of LiYang and crazy to learn english follow him . He is a firendly,kindly person who make me feel gold kaufen What‘s more ,maple story mesos he very confidence .And he make me sure what he can do i also can do,as long as i make a determination and force myself to do it every second,Crazy just like him .wow geld I learn one setence from his book ever :maple story items If you want to succeed always force yourself to do more .I can't agree more with him .wow gold farmen To be honest ,when i was a littel girl i already fall in love with english.But what a pity i am poor in english ,Maple Story Account and it make me feel frustrating .So i want to give up many times ,but i can't as i still love it .So i tell mysefl :if you think you can you can wow leveling,and all your maple story power leveling hard work will pay power leveling Today i am very happy i can listien this wonderful speech of LiYang. I reap a great benifits from him .maple story money As he say :i am the best ,and every one can do it . world of warcraft power leveling Yes,i belive i can do it if i crazy as he

jimmychooshoes said...

Alexander McQueen Shoes|Buy Alexander McQueen|Mcqueen Shoes|Alexander Mcqueen Heels|Alexander McQueen Pumps|Alexander McQueen Sandals|Alexander McQueen Flats|Alexander McQueen Boots|Manolo Blahnik shoes|Manolo Blahnik heels|Manolo Shoes|Manolo Blahnik sale||Manolo Blahnik Sandals|Manolo Blahnik Pumps|Manolo Blahnik Boots|Jimmy Choo shoes|Jimmy Choo outlet|Cheap Jimmy Choo|Choo shoes||Jimmy Choo Sandals|Jimmy Choo Bridal Shoes