Kosovo is a one-of-a-kind situation and cannot be compared to Crimea, a senior Kosovan official has told Anadolu Agency.
Kosovo’s ambassador in Ankara, Avni Spahiu, said that the Balkan situation had entered the agenda after Russian president Vladimir Putin drew attention to the Balkan state’s case in comments about Crimea’s future.
Putin had expressed his belief that only residents of a given country who have freedom of will and are in complete safety can and should determine their future.
“If this right was granted to the Albanians in Kosovo; if this was made possible in many different parts of the world, then nobody has ruled out the right of nations to self-determination, which, as far as I know, is fixed by several UN documents,” Putin said on Tuesday.
However, Spahiu told AA: “Kosovo is a sui generis case and is classified as such by international community. In Kosovo there was an intention for genocide and ethnic cleansing as well as large-scale discrimination and prosecution of Kosovan peoples by the Serbian regime. There was a war.”
The ambassador said that Kosovo had been part of a former federal country, Yugoslavia, out of which came seven republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo).
“After all we are dealing with a country that does not exist anymore; that is, former Yugoslavia”, he said “therefore Kosovo’s situation is unique and cannot be compared to any other case in the world”.
Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also refuted any similarities between Kosovo and Crimea, saying that the Russian population makes up nearly 60 percent of Crimea’s inhabitants, whereas Kosovo’s population of Albanians was more than 90 percent.
Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and so far is recognized by 106 states, including Turkey, the United States, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom. The year-long war between Kosovars and Serbian forces ended following NATO air attacks against targets in Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbia.
Crimea’s parliament voted last Thursday in favor of joining Russia, calling for a referendum on the region’s future with Ukraine on March 16. Its decision comes as Russian armed forces continue to maintain their presence on the peninsula.
U.S. president Barack Obama has said that the planned referendum on Crimea’s future violates both the Ukrainian constitution and international law. Ukrainian leaders have also rejected the referendum call.(Cortezay: Anadolu Agency)