Argument: Kosovo independence and international recognition would apply a double standard

Issue Report: Kosovo independence


  • Raju G.C. Thomas. “The Case Against Kosovo Independence.” Japan Times Online. Jan. 3, 2008 – “Russia, China and India are big states and will not tolerate any detachment of their territories. So there is no serious international effort to force them to do so. The Philippines has effectively lost control of Mindanao, just as Serbia has lost control of Kosovo, yet no one has recognized Mindanao’s unilateral declaration of independence. So why should Kosovo’s declaration be accepted?
Nor is it only Russia, China and India that oppose Kosovo’s independence, but also Muslim-majority Nigeria, which retains Biafra, where a bloody civil war with Catholic Ibos was fought in the late 1960s. Muslim-majority Indonesia lost its Catholic-majority East Timor through Western political intervention, but its claims to East Timor were tenuous, as it only invaded the island a few decades ago.
Even in Europe — where Catalonia and the Basque region push for secession from Spain, some in Flanders want an end to Belgium, and Scotland’s ruling Scottish National Party wants eventually to break away from Britain — support for Kosovo’s independence is far from universal.
Worse, ordinary Serbs see an obvious international double standard. The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Croatia and Bosnia were enforced in the 1990s, despite declarations of independence by the Serbian ‘Republic of Krajina’ in Croatia and the Serbian “Republika Srpska” in Bosnia. Why is Kosovo being treated differently?”