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Laima Andrikiene on Kosovo

EP plenary session
Strasbourg
20 02 2008

President, Commissioner,

I will concentrate on two aspects of the issue.

Firstly, the most important thing is that the independence of Kosovo was proclaimed after the supervision of the situation in Kosovo by the international community for a number of years. And the international community after long deliberations could not find a better solution of the problem than the independence of Kosovo.

Therefore, following attempts of Russia to relate situation of Kosovo with some other regions in Europe like Transnistria, South Ossetia or Abkhasia, it is not difficult to make this counter-argument dangerous or not suitable for Moscow itself. Would Russia agree to withdraw from those territories and leave control of the frozen conflicts areas in Europe to the international community? If yes, then we, the EU would get the real chance to reach long-awaited solution, and we should be interested in this.

Secondly, it is well known that some countries try to warm their hands above embers of each fireplace of international instability. This time Russia which is pretending to defend interests of Serbia, decided to play its own geopolitical game, also pretending that without its assent no problem in the world would be solved, and this position is not new or unexpected.

But Russia is not the most important player at this time as it does not have real power to angle events in a way which would not be acceptable for the West. For instance, in the future Kosovo attempts to join the United Nations might not be easy, but one cannot achieve any remarkable isolation of this state on the international stage. Because when Kosovo will be recognized by majority of EU Member States, the United States as well as some other countries, the isolation will become meaningless.

I salute the independence of Kosovo and wish the Kosovar people all the best in building their state.