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Putin: Kosovo will Set a Precedent
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Feb.'08 / 17:15

Statements that Kosovo is a unique case “are all lies,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on February 14.

Speaking at his annual Kremlin press conference, Putin said: “We believe that supporting the unilateral recognition of Kosovo’s independence is neither morally nor legally [correct]. The territorial integrity of the state is among the fundamental principles of international law. I don't want to say anything that would offend anyone, but an independent Republic of Northern Cyprus has existed for 40 years. Why don’t you recognize it? Aren't you, Europeans, ashamed of taking a double-standard approach towards resolving similar problems in various parts of the world?”

“Here we have Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdnestria – they exist as independent states. We are always told that Kosovo is a unique case. These are all lies. It is not a unique case and everybody knows that very well. Everything is similar: ethnic conflict, crimes committed by both sides, de facto full independence. We have to work out a common policy to settle these questions. We are not pushing the situation into deadlock. We are proposing that our partners elaborate common rules of conduct. Why do we have to incite separatism?”

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