12 February 2008

EU states vow not to recognise Kosovo's independence bid

Several EU member states are worried that if a Kosovo UDI is recognised by other states it will destabilise the Balkans again, and also set a precedent for minorities in other countries to do something similar.

As the European Union struggles for a unified response to Kosovo's expected
declaration of independence, several EU states - mainly those near the Serb
province - fear the move could destabilise the historically volatile Balkan

Romania, Cyprus and
Slovakia were the loudest to state their opposition this week, all vowing not to
recognise Kosovo if it declares

Greece and
Bulgaria are also wary of potentially explosive border changes in their area
while Spain and Slovakia cannot ignore the possible effects on their respective
Basque and Hungarian

Spain faces an
additional challenge as its northeastern region of Catalonia has long sought
greater autonomy.

Cyprus - which holds
elections on February 17 - has seen all this

The island has been
divided into ethnic Greek and Turkish parts since 1974, and the breakaway
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) declared independence in 1983, though
it is only recognised by

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And then, of course there is the possibility that a UDI will be followed by a resumption of ethnic cleansing.

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