Angry Moscow Ponders Next Move After Failing to Block Kosovo Independence

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Kosovo’s Feb. 17 declaration of independence places the Russian government in an awkward position. Neither Moscow’s nor Belgrade’s pre-declaration threats prevented Pristina’s parliament from voting 109-0 in favor of severing ties with Serbia. Actually implementing the threatened retaliatory measures, however, could easily backfire and seriously damage Russian interests. Most NATO governments likewise decided to back Kosovo’s independence despite Russian warnings that Moscow might respond by promoting the independence of other separatist regions in Europe. For months, Western governments have argued that, given the deep divisions separating the parties involved in the Kosovo status negotiations, delaying action would not improve the […]

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