Sunday, February 17, 2008

It's done.

Not "done" as in the sense of "resolved," but "done" as in the sense of "finally occurred," that is. Kosovo declared independence today. Luckily, it appears that the largest war this has set off is the edit war on Wikipedia's Kosovo page, the lead of which has changed approximately 532 times today.

There's still a lot more to resolve--for example, Serbia (and Russia) mildly disagrees with the whole independence thing--but in the spirit of celebration, the Kosovan government started things off by adopting the world's ugliest flag (see below, image from Wikipedia). They managed not only to copy the Bosnian flag, but to make it much, much worse. The Albanians will no doubt continue using the Albanian flag (perhaps the real intention behind adopting a horrible flag, anyway).

Many countries, including some EU countries, won't recognize Kosovo's independence, starting of course with Serbia and opportunistic big-power ally Russia--this means that Kosovo can't join the UN for the foreseeable future due to Russia's Council veto. But EU members who won't recognize independence, generally for self-interested reasons, including Greece and Cyprus (due to the Northern Cyprus separatist issue), Bulgaria (Russian relations, perhaps?), Romania (Russian relations, too, but also maybe solidarity with Moldova over Transnistria?), and Spain (which has its own problems with ethnic separatism).

On the other hand, France (no more Corsica problem), Germany, Britain and Belgium (following its national motto of "ever closer union more secession"), along with the US, are expected to recognize Kosovo's independence in the coming days (of course, Albania will too). On the ground, nothing really will be changing except for the arrival of the UN mission, and the northern part of Kosovo remains under de facto Serb control. However, we can look forward to the country adopting a (horrible?) national anthem, too, as well as of course a constitution, which should be coming in the next few months.

No comments: