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September 7, 2014 / Congau

Ukraine Made in Kosovo

When Kosovo was granted independence by the Western powers, a decisive crack was made in the post WWII border arrangement in Europe. Kosovo itself is not relevant and it is beside the point whether this new nation in any way deserved its independence. An obvious argument was given to any other region that would want to become a country. If Kosovo, then why not Abkhazia, South Osetia and Crimea? Why not Donetsk and Luhansk?

Western commentators have made a great effort to explain why not. They have constructed elaborate arguments to demonstrate what makes Kosovo different. It is pointed out that Kosovo had suffered gross injustice, and its road toward independence was long and gradual. The Crimean secession, on the other hand, was short and abrupt.

That may very well be true, but why is it relevant? The borders of Europe were drawn in 1945 as a settlement between the victorious powers, and as such they cannot be said to represent some higher objective justice. Those lines on the map were, and still are, more or less arbitrary, but the basic understanding has been, probably exactly for that reason, that they cannot and should not be touched.

For truly, once you start rearranging those borders, maybe based on some favorite principle of yours, there will be no end to it. Should every people and every language have its own country? Then what is a people and what is a language? In Europe there is a messy mixture of peoples and languages across borders and inside borders and adjustments to the benefit of one group would surely come at the expense of another. That’s why the borders of Europe used to be sacred – until Kosovo…

It doesn’t matter if Kosovo had an abundance of moral reasons for its independence or if the process of gaining it took ever so many years, once Pandora’s box was opened all sorts of small devils may escape. Crimea, and potentially many other regions have every reason to claim their independence now that the borders of Europe are not untouchable anymore.

Kosovo is also one of the causes of the current debacle in Ukraine, but don’t expect the West to acknowledge any guilt.

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