EU urges Kosovo not to declare independence

Talks on the future of Kosovo are underway in Brussels. Representatives from Russia, the U.S. and the EU are meeting Serb and Kosovar negotiators in a bid to break an impasse over the issue. The EU is warning Kosovo not to declare independence unilaterall

The so-called Troika foreign ministers met in the Belgian capital on Monday without reaching any tangible results.

Most of the countries believe Kosovo's independence is inevitable. However, the UN Security Council will not support it as long as the European Union has not reached a compromise. 

The Troika has warned Kosovo against proclaiming its independence, calling on both Pristina and Belgrade to come to an agreement.

It follows the weekend election, where Kosovo officially elected a new leader, Hashim Thaci, the president of the Democratic Party of Kosovo.

On December 10 the UN Troika will report their recommendations for Kosovo to the Security Council. 

The U.S. firmly backs Kosovo’s bid for independence.  Russia remains opposed, and the EU wavers somewhere between the two.

Britain's Minister of State for Europe, Jim Murphy, said Kosovo should avoid making a “unilateral declaration”, saying any decision on the province should be “co-ordinated with the international community.”

“It’s a decision that we have to look at in great detail here as European leaders and the process cannot be subject to an unreasonable veto,” Murphy said. 

Politicians have good reason to be cautious, since an independent Kosovo wouldn’t only create discord in Belgrade. 

There are other disputed territories in the world and it's argued conceding to Pristina’s demands would legitimise independence claims elsewhere:

President of the ‘Politika’ Foundation in Moscow, Vyacheslav Nikonov, says there's a growing awareness in Europe that “the independence of Kosovo is a dangerous thing.”

“And it is a dangerous precedent, whatever different governments say,” Nikonov said.

Those fighting for independence across the world will be watching the Troika’s report on December 10.  The former USSR alone has four breakaway republics.

South Ossetian MP Tarzan Kokoity says “If Kosovo becomes independent, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, Transdniester and Nagorny Karabakh will become independent, too.”

“Today it is absolutely clear that the U.S. is going to go ahead and unilaterally recognize Kosovo’s independence.  The independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdniester and Nagorny Karabakh will depend on how firm Russia’s stand is on the issue,” he added.

The Albanian majority in Kosovo have promised not to compromise in their pursuit of independence. 

Hashim Thaci says he'll declare Kosovo a state on the December 10, regardless of what the UN decides.