Interview with Arutyun Ulunyan

Arutyun Ulunyan, a political analyst from the Institute of World History in Moscow, shared with RT his views on the possible outcome of talks on Kosovo's status that are being held in Vienna.

Russia Today: Has any progress been made during the latest Kosovo talks? The big topic of conversation was partition and separation if they could get two sides to agree.

Artyom Ulunyan: I think it is not at all possible to talk about the partition of Kosovo because, according to the agreements reached earlier, the main point is that Kosovo should not be partitioned or included in another state. It should not return to the  situation previous to 1999. That’s why I think that all details about the partition are not pragmatic.

RT: What are we expecting from these Troika talks? Has any progress been made at all, do you think?

A.U.: Up to now they haven't made any serious progress. And the problem is what will happen if Kosovo is independent, whether Belgrade will recognise it or the international community will put pressure on Belgrade. That is the problem. Also who will understand the situation inside Kosovo?

RT: Is there a danger that Kosovo might take steps towards unilateral independence ?

A.U.: I think it is not possible at all, because according to the information we have from Pristina, the Kosovar-Albanians assured the Russian negotiators of the impossibility of unilateral steps in this field. But I’d say the repercussions of these steps will be very serious particularly in the regional sense, because the neighbours will be stirred up by the fact that some sort of the territory will proclaim independence.

RT: Self-proclaimed republics like South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transdniester are looking very closely at what’s happening in Kosovo. What are they making of it?

A.U.: There are many differences between the status of Kosovo and these territories, because Kosovo is under the mandate of the UN, but those self-proclaimed states don't have such a system.  That’s why I am not sure that the example of Kosovo is applicable to those territories at all.

RT: Where do you think the situation is going to be in a year's time?

A.U.: Many experts believe that in the future Kosovo will receive some sort of independence, but what kind of independence nobody knows yet.