NATO guards Kosovo border amid Serb tension
The territory's declaration of independence has caused international ripples; analysts look to East Timor and Montenegro as examples of how Kosovo might fare.
As the violent Serbian backlash to Kosovo's declaration of independence is expected to continue this week, the unruly protests are causing concern for the Balkan territory and spurring leading analysts to look to East Timor and Montenegro as examples of how the declared state might fare.Skip to next paragraph
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NATO peacekeepers closed off roads between Serbia and Northern Kosovo Wednesday, with United Nations police guarding border checkpoints, anticipating more protests. Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia Sunday, ethnic Serbian groups have been protesting. They have destroyed UN and NATO property, set fires, and staged rallies, the Associated Press reports.
Border crossings at two places in Kosovo remained sealed Wednesday after at least 1,000 Serbs from Kosovo and Serbia ransacked and torched both sites Tuesday. Ethnic Serbians torched and ransacked NATO-patrolled border crossings as international tensions rose over Kosovo's declaration of independence, reports Agence France-Presse.
The United States, the European Union, and several European powers are supporting independence in Kosovo. Meanwhile, Russia, China, and Spain have warned that recognition of Kosovo could embolden separatists worldwide and threaten international norms.
President Bush said Tuesday that independence for Kosovo was a "correct move" that could bring peace to the long-troubled region. Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, charged that Western support was "immoral and illegal," and likely to provoke a storm of separatism which could unsettle the international order, reports The Christian Science Monitor.
In Kosovo, lawmakers asserted their new claimed powers, passing their first legislation since declaring the new state, creating citizenship, passports, and a foreign ministry.