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On Kosovo, Serbia Prez Nikolic Notes Secession Precedent Cited by Crimea

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 27 -- With Kosovo the topic of the UN Security Council on May 27, Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic talked not only organ traffic but also Crimea. On the latter he said:

 “International relations, however, depend also on the precedents imposed by some countries even by force. Such a precedent was also created by the unilateral secession of Kosovo and Metohija from Serbia. In this particular case there was a paradox and a precedent was made that was claimed not to be a precedent. Then, there came Crimea, where the people and the authorities of that peninsula, in declaring their independence, referred to 'the famous Kosovo precedent which Western countries helped create themselves.'”

  Some thought this argument strange -- and Nikolic did not do a question and answer stakeout after the Security Council meeting on which it could be explored. But compared to today's UN circus, his argument was cogent, or at least thought provoking. Consider:

  On May 8 a group called the Ukrainian-American Human Rights organization (RAZOM) was scheduled at 1:15 pm in the UN Press Briefing Room to present their report entitled "Crisis in Ukraine and its legal aspects.”

  But the moderator quickly denied that the report online WAS their report. She repeatedly insisted that some questions were outside of the “legal” scope of the briefing, then speechified about her upbringing in Ukraine and how bad Russia is.

  Another panelist, calmer and more legalistic, spoke about possible Kyiv deals with Chevron and Exxon.

  Inner City Press speed-read the report and asked about a line on page 27, that “What happened in Northern Cyprus seems to be the closest precedent situation to Crimea today.” Inner City Press asked if what the panelists have in mind is a decades long process with a UN “good offices” envoy like Alexander Downer. The calmest of the panelist said the analogy was to a military intervention not preceded by calls for independence.

  Inner City Press also asked about Kosovo; the panelist referred to a UN-run referendum, which in fact there never was. The other panelists insisted the Right Sector is not in the government in Kyiv. One said that the burning of the building in Odessa was the work of outside agents.

  In this same UN briefing room on April 15, French Ambassador Gerard Araud told a correspondent from Lebanon, “You are not a journalist, you are an agent.” The Free UN Coalition for Access has asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric to convey to Araud the stated UN position, that correspondents should be treated with respect. But this has not happened. The old UN Correspondents Association, the attacked journalist says, has “dragged its feet.”

  The UNCA representative at this Ukraine press conference approached the panelist before it began, and offered them her description of who each journalist in attendance was: politicized correspondents. She took the first question - not having read the report - and also the last one.

   It was not possible to ask why the report does not address one of the precedent raised, in the Security Council: that of France's unilateral referendum to split Mayotte from Comoros. But, despite the disclaimers, the press conference was not really about the law or precedents. Watch this site.


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