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Putin accuses West of subjecting court to pressure during Kosovo crisis

October 20, 4:12 UTC+3 SOCHI

Putin voiced Russia’s hope the Catalan problem would be resolved within the framework of Spanish legislation but he stressed this was an entirely domestic affair of a concrete country

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SOCHI, October 20. /TASS/. The West subjected the International Court in The Hague to pressure over recognition of Kosovo’s independence and thus unsealed Pandora’s box, bringing about the crises like the current one in Catalonia, Vladimir Putin said on Thursday as he spoke at a plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

"I don’t think creation of mono-ethnic states is a panacea against possible conflicts," he said. "On the contrary, following the divisions and declarations of sovereignty the setting up of mono-ethnic states may lead up to fighting for the implementation of interests of these new statehoods and, in most probability, this is exactly what’s going to happen."

He believes that united states within big borders have more chances for balanced governmental policies.

Putin cited Russia as an instance of this, recalling that its Moslem population stood at about 10% of the total and the country joined the Organization of the Islamic Conference to have better understanding of the moods of that section of society.

The Russian President recalled how Kosovo’s independence was recognized. He took out some papers and read off them: "On October 8, 2008, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 63/3. The question was whether a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo’s interim institutes conformed to provisions of international law."

"It addressed the question then to the International Court in The Hague and on June 22, 2010, after two-year-long consideration the court passed consultative conclusions where it said the February 17, 2008, declaration of Kosovo’s independence had not violated general international law," Putin said.

He recalled that all the assessments and conclusions of the court in The Hague concerned not only Kosovo’s case but, rather, all the applications of international law in what concerned the declaration of independence by a constituent territory of a foreign state.

"This expansive interpretation of a legal norm unsealed Pandora’s box," he said.

He also quoted conclusions by the International Court position by position, which led up to the general conclusion that Kosovo’s declaration generally fell in line with provisions of international law.

Putin also cited the instance of how Western countries put pressure on the court in a bid to attain recognition of the declaration and the recommendations they made in connection with the situation.

"What did the U.S. recommend to the court? The Department of State wrote that the principle of territorial integrity didn’t rule out emergence of new states on the territories of existing estates," Putin said. "And although it admitted that declarations of independence might violate the internal legislation of one or another country, this didn’t mean encroachments on international law were taking place."

"But important problems have surfaced now," he said. "Now that they’ve surfaced in Catalonia, for instance, no one seems to be pleased with them. No one! And that’s what I call a showing of double standards."

Putin voiced Russia’s hope the Catalan problem would be resolved within the framework of Spanish legislation but he stressed this was an entirely domestic affair of a concrete country.

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