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Putin says Crimean referendum follows Kosovo precedent

March 18, 2014, 16:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Calling Kosovo “a special case” are proofs of "primitive and straightforward cynicism", the Russian president noted
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Kosovo (left) and Albania (right) flags (archive)

Kosovo (left) and Albania (right) flags (archive)

© AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu

MOSCOW, March 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin appeals to the decisions the UN and the US made on the Kosovo precedent in the situation with the Crimean referendum.

“Actions of the Crimean people fit the approach clearly,” Putin said in an address to the Russian parliament and regional leaders following Crimea’s joining the Russian Federation and organization of new sub-federal entities.

“The Crimean leadership based on the well-known Kosovo precedent, which the Western counterparts had made with their own hands,” Putin said. “In the situation clearly similar to that in Crimea they recognized as legitimate the separation of Kosovo from Serbia, thus proving no decisions from central authorities are required for a unilateral announcement of independence.”

During the address, the president quoted two documents, which confirmed Kosovo’s right for independence. The UN international court stressed the Security Council’s practice suggested no banning for the unilateral declaration of independence. It claimed the common international law did not contain any applied ban on announcing independence.

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Putin also quoted a passage from the US memorandum on Kosovo, presented to the international court, which reads independence declarations may — and often do — violate domestic legislation, but that should not mean violations of the international law.

“They were the ones to put it in writing, to declare, to press - and now they are indignant,” Putin said.

“For some reason, approaches possible for Albanians in Kosovo should be banned for Russians, Ukrainians or Crimea Tatars in Crimea. But why?” the Russian president asks. He continued saying western countries were calling Kosovo “a special case”, as there had been many victims in the conflict. “Those are even not double standards; those are proofs of primitive and straightforward cynicism. It is a too rough adjusting to own interests - calling an object white today, but black tomorrow,” Putin said in bewilderment.

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