The Kosovo - and Montenegro - effect

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The post-communist space continues to generate new internationally recognized states while incubating unrecognized but de facto states. Recent movement in the Balkans-the independence of Montenegro and the arduous deliberations over Kosovo's future-have variously encouraged other secessionist people and would-be states, particularly in the former Soviet Union. This article analyses the impact of developments in Montenegro and Kosovo on several levels, including: their usage by de facto states; the reactions to them by central governments; Russian policy; and western and intergovernmental responses to these challenges. The article further argues that the Russian position on Kosovo and on the so-called 'frozen' or unsettled conflicts neighbouring Russia could ultimately backfire on it. Western policy towards both Kosovo and on the post-Soviet frozen conflicts will be best served by signalling to Russia, irrespective of the exact form of Kosovo's independence, that neither its own interests nor broader western-Russian relations are served by using or reacting to any Kosovo 'precedent'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-294
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008




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