Perhaps there is something wrong with me – or I am badly missing the point. But I can’t help feeling a certain sympathy for the Russian position over Kosovo. All my friends who follow Russian foreign policy and/or the Balkans tell me I’m wrong and that the Putin government is behaving provocatively and irresponsibly. But, as far as I can see, it is the Russians who are sticking to the letter of the law.
Let me re-cap. The situation in Kosovo has been building steadily towards a crisis for months. By December 10 the Serbs and the Kosovars are meant to have reached an agreement. Everybody knows that this is not going to happen – and that the Kosovars will almost certainly declare independence soon after the breakdown of talks. At that point the US will in all probability recognise Kosovo, as will many EU countries (although not the EU itself).