By: James Ker-Linsday
The apparent decision of a Latin American state to revoke its recognition of Kosovo shows the diplomatic struggle over Serbia’s former province is far from over.
It is hard to believe that it has been almost a decade since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, on 17 February 2008. At the time, it was an extraordinarily controversial move.
Ordinarily, the international community has a strong aversion to unilateral acts of secession.
Since 1945, only one country, Bangladesh, had managed to break away from an existing state and become a full member of the UN.
International opinion was divided over Kosovo’s statehood. Arguing that it was a unique case, arising from the break-up of Yugoslavia, and believing it to be necessary for Balkan stability, Kosovo was quickly recognised by the United States, Britain, France, Germany and many other Western states.
By contrast, many other countries, including Russia, India, China, Brazil, and South Africa, saw it as a dangerous precedent and refused to accept its independent status.