The Messenger, Georgia
Nov 19 2004

Kosovo will not help separatists
According to the Azeri newspaper Ekho.Baku, Nagorno-Karabakh,
Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdnestr are rooting for the independence
of Kosovar Albanians. Karabakh separatists together with "friends in
misfortune" Prednestrovie, Abkhazia and South Ossetia continue to
consolidate their efforts to achieve recognition by the international
community.
The Azeri paper comments on a recent report by the newspaper
Moskovski Komsomolets that these separatist states are close to the
creation of a union of unrecognized states. According to Ekho.Baku,
these four 'countries' have held joint trainings where they agreed to
render mutual military assistance in case of a security threat to any
of the regimes.
But Moskovski Komsomolets reports their chief expectation is
connected to the fate of Kosovo. Many leaders from the four
separatist states think that soon this Serbian autonomy will receive
complete independence and recognition by the international community.
Such an event would give them a precedent and a chance, the paper
writes, "to draw themselves up to their full height."
But commentators in Ekho caution that all the regions should be put
in the same basket. "First of all, we have to distinguish the
situation in Kosovo from the Armenian-Azeri conflict," said Director
of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Center Elkhan Mekhtiev, adding
that the final decisions of the UN recognized Kosovo as an integral
part of Serbia.
He said that despite the fact that there is international decision
over that territory, there is no talk regarding the giving Kosovo
sovereign status. Moreover, according to Ekho.Baku, Mekhtiev said
that Serbia is adhering to the path of the European democratic
development and this is a further guarantee that the country will
retain its territorial integrity.
But in the case of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he noted that
international organizations have decreed that they will not recognize
the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh or Abkhazia. "On the contrary,
OSCE and UN as well as other organizations confirm the territorial
integrity of Georgia and Azerbaijan. So, in this case, the issue of
status is the prerogative of Azerbaijan, because the Minsk Group of
OSCE says that it can recognize everything if Azerbaijan will agree
with that," Mekhtiev said.
Conflict specialists in Azerbaijan think that the article in
Moskovski Komsomolets has a propagandistic character. A member of the
delegation of Azerbaijan in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council
of Europe Asim Mollazade thinks that Moskovski Komsomolets write "the
things they want to happen in reality but does not."
"The depicted situation will never occur, because the world will
never recognize these formations created by Russia so that it could
create problems for independent Georgia, Azerbaijan and Moldava.
These separatist structures will always be recognized by the world as
parts of those countries. Any efforts of separatists to aggravate the
situation will not lead to the good either for them or for those
forces who are behind them," he said. Mollazade also is sure that
Kosovo will never be recognized as an independent state.