Kosovo PM Confident that Most of the World Will Recognize Kosovo

Kosovo PM Confident that Most of the World Will Recognize Kosovo

PRISTINA and MITROVICA, Kosovo -- Kosovo will make a unilateral declaration of independence within days of the delivery of a report on its status to the U.N. on Dec. 10, according to the breakaway Serbian province's prime minister, Agim Ceku. But what then?

Kosovo has declared independence twice before, but only secured the recognition of neighboring Albania. "The circumstances are very different this time," Ceku told World Politics Review in a recent interview. "Now we have got everything that has been developed in the last eight years under the U.N. administration: We have a parliament; we have a government; we have our institutions. We even have a budget that does not rely on foreign aid. We will not break any promises. Nothing is more important than the independence of Kosovo. Independence is the key. It is the beginning."

Despite its having the trappings of statehood, Kosovo's declaration would immediately run into trouble, with Russia saying it will veto recognition in the U.N. Security Council. But Western diplomats say the secretary of the 15-member council plans to avoid the problem by simply recognizing Kosovo's independence without a vote. This, they say, would be allowed under Resolution 1244, the legal basis of the U.N.'s presence since it arrived in 1999 on the tail of NATO air strikes that drove out Serbian forces terrorizing the separatist Albanian majority.

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