Interview with Arutyun Ulunyan

Arutyun Ulunyan, a political analyst from the Institute of the World History, expressed his view on a possible four-month delay of the international plan to grant Kosovo independence.

Russia Today:  So what do you think of this delay in deciding Kosovo's fate?

Artyom Ulunyan: It's a typical diplomatic act, which is concerned to be a step of some kind of technical delay, because they are interested to sort out the problems with those who are opposed to the resolution that they would like to adopt – practically, the independence of Kosovo. Of course, we should speak about the Russian position on the issue. And I suppose that Washington is interested in sorting out this problem with Moscow directly.

RT:  How likely is it that during the four months, a consensus between Russia and the wider international community on the status of Kosovo will be reached?

A.U.: It will take practically some questions concerning Russian interests in international relations. First of all, the Russian position in the Balkans and, also, Russia's position concerning the anti-ballistic missiles initiative proclaimed by Bush. The third aspect is the Russian position in the former-USSR space, because the Americans are considered to be the major opponents of the Russians in this field. And I believe it's the most important thing for Russia's interests in this field.   

RT: Russia and the U.S. are at logger-heads over a number of issues. Do you think the upcoming meeting between Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush is likely to bring any kind of a breakthrough on this particular issue of Kosovo independence?  

A.U.: It is typical for diplomatic relations that the bargaining between two super-powers could concern some questions of small countries. And I suppose it's time for bargaining, because Russia is interested in having some kind of concessions from the U.S. in different aspects. And I suppose that Kosovo is in focus, like a problem which could be a subject of the concession. And as a result, Russia would receive some kind of concession from Washington. Not only in Kosovo but in the Balkans, because it's not a secret, Russia is interested in direct relations with the Balkan countries, not only with Serbia but also with Greece, Bulgaria, which have much interest in transferring of oil. And the American interest, of course, confronts to the Russian one in this field. Kosovo is in the focus of the Russian and American relations in this field.