Wednesday, February 06, 2008

British expert: Kosovo model may be applied to Karabakh

Anatol Lieven, British policy analyst and chairman of International Relations and Terrorism Studies at King’s College London, doubts that Kosovo’s independence will not be precedent for other conflicts."Kosovo and Nagorno Karabakh are different conflicts, but what happens in one region will have a certain effect on what happens in the other", Anatol Lieven, Lieven believes that the Kosovo model can be applied to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. "Why not? It is easy to say that things are specific, but it depends who is doing the talking. Everybody tries to make up different rules, different cases. But in fact, it does set a precedent", said the British analyst. "I don’t believe that Russia will back Karabakhi Armenians. But they will undoubtedly be encouraged by Kosovo’s independence", he said.Commenting on Russia’s hindering the determination of the final status of Kosovo and supporting regimes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Mr Lieven said there were two main reasons for it. "Firstly, Abkhazians and Ossetians are Northern Caucasian nations to whom the Russians are tied very closely. And certainly they do not want any more trouble in the North Caucasus. Secondly, Russians have come to absolutely detest the Georgians and are not going to do anything for them, whereas Russia, of course, has been trying to build good relations with Azerbaijan. That is the explanation", he said. Analyzing the difficulties western powers face in balancing people’s aspiration for independence with a wish to maintain the territorial integrity of existing states and preserve regional stability, Mr Lieven said it would partly depend on further developments. "If Kosovo secedes successfully and more or less peacefully, then, no doubt, the U.S. policy will score a victory. If the independence of Kosovo leads to more serious fighting with Serbia and a possible overspill of Albanian separatism into Serbia itself and then towards Macedonia, then of course, the entire U.S. policy towards the region, and ever since 1999 and the Kosovo war, will be seen as a disaster. But we do not yet know what will happen", the expert said, Trend reports.

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