Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Between “pragmatism” and “constitutionalism”: EU-Russian dynamics and differences during the Kosovo status process

By James Ker-Lindsay

Abstract

Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence in 2008 has been widely regarded as a failure for international diplomacy in general, and for the European Union (EU) in particular. The narrative that has emerged suggests that, rather than taking charge of the situation, the EU was instead a “victim” of external machinations led by Washington and Moscow. This article challenges this view. It argues that, during the status process, it became clear that in the case of Kosovo there was a tension between the constraints imposed by international law on acts of secession and the requirements for stability on the ground. While Russia insisted on the former, albeit for a range of reasons that went beyond upholding international law, the United States placed emphasis on the latter. For their part, the key members of the EU eventually decided that, after having tried to win Moscow over to their position, they too had to ensure regional security; even if this meant circumventing the United Nations and the Security Council and challenging long-standing legal norms and principles concerning the territorial integrity of states

Topics: D901 Europe (General), DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics, E151 United States (General), JZ International relations, KZ Law of Nations
Publisher: University Association for Contemporary European Studies
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:39437
Provided by: LSE Research Online

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (2008). Analysis-Kosovo offers Russia a chance to avenge
  2. and key European nations support Kosovo independence but Russia sympathizes with keeping the province part of Serbia”,
  3. Armed group surfaces in Kosovo”, doi
  4. (2007). Back to the Brink In
  5. (2000). Because Kosovars are Western, There Can be No Homeland without a State”, in
  6. (2007). Black cloud over the Balkans”,
  7. (2007). Çeku: Serbs to live 'with dignity'
  8. (2007). Comparative Autonomy Model Analysis”,
  9. Council Document. doi
  10. diplomat says support for independent Kosovo should not preclude good relations with Belgrade”,
  11. (2010). Dissenting Opinion”, “Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in doi
  12. (2007). Enter, pursued by the bear”, doi
  13. (2007). Ethnic Albanians say UN plan backs independence, Serbia warns of secession”,
  14. (2006). Ethnic Albanians, Serb leaders far apart on Kosovo’s future”,
  15. (2007). EU countries poised to recognise Kosovo - German politician”,
  16. (2007). EU seeks unity in face of growing U.S.-Russian tensions over Kosovo”,
  17. (2007). EU splinter group emerges on Kosovo”,
  18. (2007). EU-Russian talks end in acrimony”,
  19. (2004). Failure to Protect: Anti-Minority Violence in Kosovo,
  20. (2008). Foreign Relations. doi
  21. (2009). From Autonomy to Independence: The Evolution of International Thinking on doi
  22. (2005). from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council”, doi
  23. (2005). from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council”, S/2005/708, doi
  24. G8 agrees $60 billion package,
  25. (2007). G8 fails to reconcile Russia and
  26. (2007). Gorbachev: Kosovo unrelated to EU,
  27. (2008). How to Start Your Own Country
  28. (2007). Interview with Sergey Buntman of Ekho Movsky: Secretary Condoleezza Rice”,
  29. (1995). Is Pandora's Box Half-empty or Half-full? The Limited Virulence of Secessionism and the Domestic Sources of Disintegration”. Policy Papers. Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation,
  30. (2007). It's time for some brinkmanship”,
  31. (2010). Kosovo and the UN”, doi
  32. Kosovo can win independence,
  33. Kosovo says Yes to U.N. doi
  34. Kosovo status not precedent for breakaway republics – FerreroWaldner”,
  35. (2002). Kosovo: A Short History. doi
  36. (2007). Kosovo: No Good Alternatives to the Ahtisaari Plan”, doi
  37. (2006). Kosovo: Pro-independence protestors attack UN headquarters; no injuries”,
  38. (2008). Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence: An Incident Analysis of Legality, Policy and Future Implications”,
  39. Koštunica: UN will block Kosovo’s independence”,
  40. Lavrov: No hurry in Kosovo case”,
  41. (2007). Leading article: Local passions and the desire to divorce”,
  42. (2008). Legal furore over Kosovo recognition”,
  43. (2007). NATO urges U.N. Security Council to quickly resolve Kosovo status”,
  44. No Decision Reached on doi
  45. (2006). Office of Special Envoy for Kosovo).
  46. (2007). Online Debate: Should the United States Recognize Kosovo?”, Council on Foreign Relations,
  47. (2006). Peace at Any Price: How the World Failed Kosovo. doi
  48. (2008). Press Statement following Negotiations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy”,
  49. (2007). Putin dashes hopes for Kosovo breakthrough”,
  50. (2007). Putin stays tough on EU-Russian relations”,
  51. Putin talks end, EU-Russian summit announced”,
  52. Putin urges Western politicians ‘not to pose as Lord God’”,
  53. (2008). Putin's Balkan mischief”, Guardian Unlimited, 29 January. Adnkronos International.
  54. (2009). Re-Examining Sovereignty Claims in Changing Territorialities: Reflections from ‘Kosovo Syndrome’”, doi
  55. (2010). Recognizing Kosovo’s Independence: Remedial Secession or Earned Sovereignty?”,
  56. (2010). Relativizing Sovereignty: Remedial Secession and Humanitarian Intervention
  57. (2010). Remedial Secession
  58. (2007). Russia worried over UN plans for Kosovo independence”,
  59. (2007). Russia's veto over Kosovo”,
  60. (2007). Russian foreign minister criticizes U.N. plan for Kosovo”,
  61. (2005). Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Kosovo Status Talks – Press Conference”,
  62. (2007). Sejdiu says Ahtisaari's proposal lays foundation for declaring independence”,
  63. (2010). Separate Opinion”, “Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Respect of Kosovo”, doi
  64. Serbia lines up wholesale rejection of Kosovo plan”,
  65. Solution to be Sought in doi
  66. (1997). State Practice and International Law in Relation to Unilateral Secession”, Report to Government of Canada Concerning Unilateral Secession by Quebec,
  67. (2008). Suggested Private Message from Contact Group Representatives on the Kosovo Status Process”, document provided to the author by Martti Ahtisaari in
  68. (2006). The Creation of States doi
  69. (1992). The Opinions of the Badinter Arbitration Committee: A Second Breath for the Self-Determination of Peoples”
  70. (2007). The Outlook For The Independence Of Kosovo”, Undersecretary of Political Affairs, Statement Before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Washington [17 April]. Press Release,
  71. (2008). The Russian speech we didn't hear about”,
  72. (2008). The Vienna Negotiations on the Final Status of Kosovo”, doi
  73. (2007). There's a minefield just ahead in Kosovo”,
  74. (2008). U.S. and Germany to recognize Kosovo independence, diplomats say”,
  75. We will propose amendments”,
  76. (2006). We won't even talk about Kosovo's status with Serbia”,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.