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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Kosovo; Sao Paulo

VZCZCXYZ0011
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSO #0070 0501315
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 191315Z FEB 08
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7913
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 9063
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 8587
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 3029

UNCLAS SAO PAULO 000070

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD

DEPT PASS USTR

USDOC 4322/MAC/OLAC/JAFEE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD BR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: KOSOVO; SAO PAULO


1. QIndependent Kosovo

Liberal, largest national circulation daily Folha de S. Paulo (2/19)
editorialized: QThe way Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia
was not normal. The ideal process for the emergence of a nation was
not respected. Among other reasons, an understanding did not work
because of the Serbian governmentQs intransigence and RussiaQs
diplomatic actions. However, KosovoQs separation from Serbia is
unavoidable. KosovoQs return to SerbiaQs domination would be
unfeasible. The European Union says that KosovoQs condition as a
province historically repressed by the Serbians is enough to justify
the break of protocol in the case of KosovoQs emancipation. It is a
good argument in favor of the independence, but the EU was unable to
convince all members to support it. Nations such as Spain, that has
faced the Basque separatism intent, fear the creation of a
precedent.

2. QThe Spark That Relights Historic Fires

National circulation daily O Estado de S. PauloQs Paris
correspondent Giles Lapouge commented (2/19): QVladimir Putin has
warned the UN Security Council that he will not permit Kosovo to
become the organizationQs 193rd member. The collusion between Russia
and Serbia is a logic one: they are Slav and orthodox nations, while
Kosovo, whose population is predominantly Albanian, is Muslim. In
addition, there is fear of QcontagionQ. In Russia, several ethnic
groups in the Caucuses have claimed their freedom, like Kosovo. A
simple spark may relight millenary ethnic, historical and religious
fires.


3. QRegion Will Continue Under the UN/EU Tutelage

Business-oriented Valor Economico wrote (2/19): QKosovoQs
independence tends to consolidate, but the process is a risky one
and not free from trouble. Russians have repressed a separatist
movement in Chechnya, the same way Turks have done in Kurdistan and
the Chinese in Tibet. And neither the US nor the European Union,
which supported KosovoQs independence, has been sympathetic to the
independence of those regions. The reason is always political: not
to offend an allied nation (Turkey), not to provoke a very important
nation (China), or to silence in view of repression against a common
enemy (Russia combats radical Chechnyan Muslims). In the case of
Kosovo, both the US and the EU encouraged the independence. European
diplomats said that KosovoQs situation is different, unique. It is
not. What reasoning has then moved the US and the EU? Among other
reasons, to remind an increasingly assertive Russia the limitation
of its real power. The EU is expected to absorb the Balkan nations,
its last natural frontier, in the next few decades. This fact may
force Serbia to move from the area of Russian influence to the
West. [In the meantime] encapsulated between a hostile Serbia and
Albania, one of EuropeQs poorest nations with a strong presence of
organized crime, Kosovo tends to remain for years, maybe decades, as
a UN and EU protectorate.

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