Moscow appalled over Obama’s statement on Kosovo
The authorities in Moscow are astonished by U.S. President Barack Obama’s claim that the decision to declare Kosovo independence was taken in a referendum held with the approval of the United Nations and neighboring countries.
Saturday, March 29, 2014
On March 26, Obama gave a 40-minute speech in front of about 2,000 guests at the Center for Fine Arts in Brussels, accusing Russia of twisting facts concerning the Crimea issue when it said Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence was a precedent.“NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years. Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized – not outside the boundaries of international law but in careful cooperation with the United Nations, and with Kosovo’s neighbors,” Obama said then.“None of that even came close to happening in Crimea,” said the U.S. president, stating that Russia's leaders defend their actions claiming that Kosovo is a precedent and an example of Western interference in the internal matters of a small country.“This claim on the part of the U.S. President cannot but cause astonishment since there was no plebiscite in Kosovo, let alone a plebiscite coordinated with the international community," Itar-Tass news agency cited the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying.Itar-Tass recalled that the decision to break away from Serbia was taken by the parliament in Pristina in 2008.We can only agree that fateful decisions should be made in referendums, just as it was done in Crimea, and not in private, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.