Kosovo & the Canadian Decision

Aldous Sperl

International gestures, however seemingly small, can have giant repercussions in the relations between nation-states. Every international decision, taken by a national government, has far reaching implications, many of which are not obvious. For Canada, the decision to endorse Kosovo’s declaration of independence was one of those.

On February 17, 2008, the parliament of Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia. It was a bold move and one that created strong tensions in the international community. This paper explores why Canada was reluctant to endorse Kosovo’s declaration and provides a rationale for why that decision was made. To put the situation into context, I first provide a brief background of Kosovo and explain how its declaration affected the international community. Next, I argue why Canada was reluctant to approve this independence movement, and lastly, I speculate on the reasons for Canada’s eventual endorsement of Kosovo.

Kosovo’s Past

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Kosovo has been one of the most explosive zones in Europe.[1] The region is situated in the center of the Balkans, surrounded by Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, and Macedonia.[2] Both Serbian and Albanian leaders have repeatedly laid exclusive claims to the area but there has always been a strong movement for independence of the region. As part of Yugoslavia there were numerous protests for independence, but because Kosovo was relatively autonomous the protests were relatively small. In 1990, as Yugoslavia was beginning to unravel, an unconstitutional Kosovo government declared Kosovo to be an independent country: this action, however, was only recognized by Albania. Unfortunately, with the disintegration of Yugoslavia in 1991, the autonomy of the region was revoked by the Serbian government. This had the effect of creating a much stronger force for independence. Throughout the 1990s the majority Kosovo-Albanians claimed the right to independence while Serbia insisted that the region of Kosovo was an integral part of Serbia. Tensions rose and by 1998 there was a full-scale conflict between the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army and the Serbian Special Police forces as well as the Serbian military.[3] The Racak Massacre of 1999, which killed 40-50 Kosovo-Albanian villagers, brought new international attention to the conflict, raising fears about ethnic cleansing by Serbia.[4] In 1999 NATO backed the new Rambouillet Agreement, which called for the restoration of Kosovo’s autonomy as well as the deployment of NATO peacekeeping troops in the region. Serbia refused this agreement prompting NATO to begin its mission: the first use of force by NATO since its inception.[5] The controversial bombing campaign that NATO undertook left Kosovo under international control, though it killed over 10,000 people and created over 800,000 refugees.[6]

On June 10, 1999, following the ceasefire, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1244 which placed Kosovo under UN administration and authorised peacekeeping force KFOR to help administer the province and maintain the peace. This action formally ended the ‘civil war’ and brought respite to the region. [7] After six years, some of which was marked by conflict and ethnic unrest, the question of Kosovo’s independence was again raised. Drafts for a UN Security Resolution proposing supervised independence for the region, called the Ahtisaari Plan, were discarded in the face of Serbian and Russian refusal: they argued that such drafts jeopardised the principle of state sovereignty. All drafts were discarded in 2007.[8] In 2008, after a Serbian election, the region of Kosovo again declared independence, this time to be met with international recognition.

Independence and the World Reaction

February 17, 2008, was a historic day for Kosovo. Independence was again declared but this time it was met with support from around the world. Kosovo’s parliament unanimously endorsed a declaration of independence from Serbia: 109 members voted for the independence of Kosovo while eleven members, representing Serbian minorities, boycotted the proceedings.  The news was met with celebration throughout Kosovo and in numerous cities worldwide. In Serbia the declaration was met with violence, protestors stormed the American embassy, and damaged American symbols such as McDonald’s restaurants.[9]

Immediately after the declaration, the Prime Minister of Serbia denounced the proclamation calling Kosovo a “false state” and that it was illegal for Kosovo to declare independence under the UN Charter, specifically under Resolution 1244.[10] On the same day Russia called for the United Nations to declare the separation illegal, which prompted an emergency Security Council meeting. The US, France, and the UK all supported Kosovo’s independence bid, Russia firmly opposed it.[11] The legality question was passed on to the United Nations General Assembly which on October 8, 2008 voted to have the International Court of Justice look into the matter and provide an advisory opinion to the assembly in February 2009.

For its part, the Serbian government officially felt that Kosovo was an integral part of its territory despite the substantial autonomy of the region. The Prime Minister of Serbia blamed the United States for “being ready to violate the international order for its own military interests”[12] and the Government of Serbia issued an action plan which, among other things, included arrest warrants for Kosovo leaders accusing them of high treason, and the recalling of Serbian ambassadors to any state that recognizes Kosovo’s independence.[13]

Unlike the 1990 declaration, which was only recognized by Albania, the 2008 declaration has been to date recognized by 51 UN member states. Key among these states is the US, Australia, and the majority of the EU. Important states that opposed the declaration have been Serbia, Russia, China, Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Cyprus, Greece and New Zealand – all of which have their own separatist concerns. Canada debated the issue for thirty days before recognizing Kosovo as an independent nation-state on March 18, 2008.[14] This was a decision made with much reluctance.

The Canadian Decision and Ottawa’s Reluctance

Canada was reluctant to endorse the independence of Kosovo but on March 18, 2008, the Canadian government formally recognized the new country. The true causes for the delay and the government’s reluctance are unavailable to the general public but in analyzing news reports, historical concerns, and government documents, one can uncover strong elements that were likely the cause of Ottawa’s reluctance. I argue that Canada’s delay was primarily due to three factors: fears of aiding Québec separatists, the improbability of Kosovo succeeding as a viable state, and concern for bypassing the authority of the United Nations.

Québec separatism has always been a thorn in the side of Canadian Federalism. Perhaps ‘thorn’ is a mild statement, as according to Robert A. Young, “the biggest threat to the integrity of the Canadian state and the well-being of all Canadians is the possible secession of Québec.”[15] With two referendums already in Canadian history over the separation of Québec, as well as a strong federal party, which has a main goal of separatism, the issue of Québec independence has featured prominently in Canadian federal politics since confederation. The issue at stake with Kosovo is that by recognizing the ability of a province to unilaterally declare independence from a mother country, Canada is arguably setting a precedent in how it will respond to other independence movements.[16] Though Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared that the “recognition of Kosovo’s independence was born out of a very unique situation that does not create any parallel with Québec,”[17] others would disagree. Prominent among those who believe this verdict will influence future decisions, both for Québec and other nations, is Canada’s former Yugoslavia ambassador James Bisset. In expressing his disappointment shortly after Canada’s announcement, he stated that it does indeed “set a precedent” and though “the United States and [Canada][…] can say that it is unique and that it doesn’t set a precedent […] already, other countries who aspire for independence are beginning to [renew their campaigns].”[18] Indeed, Québec nationalists greeted the news joyously, and the Parti Québécois applauded the decision.[19]

The argument presented by Québec separatists is that Ottawa’s decision has set the stage for an eventual recognition of an independent Québec – if Québec’s citizens were to demonstrate a democratic will to separate.[20] However, there is no denying that the situation is drastically different; indeed, Robert Austin, a University of Toronto political scientist, stated that “the situations are apples and oranges.”[21] The reason for this difference is that, to many, including Austin, Québec separatists can claim little legitimacy from Kosovo’s independence movement. This movement, which gained Western sympathy during a civil war that claimed thousands of lives, has experienced persecution and violence on a large scale and because of this Kosovo’s bid for independence is seen as more just. In fact, in a landmark 1998 ruling Canada’s Supreme Court declared, “The right to unilaterally declare independence is only an option for a people facing oppression or exploitation from a colonial master, and denied any meaningful self-determination.”[22] There is no doubt that the people of Kosovo have faced serious oppression in the past and as such there is a clear distinction between this case and the bid for independence found in Québec’s separatists.

This being said, there is still a powerful argument to be made that regardless of the differences Canada’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence has in effect shown that under the right circumstances the Canadian government will recognize unilateral declarations of independence. Even if Québec cannot claim legitimacy from Kosovo’s independence movement, it could have easily fuelled separatist passions hopes and desires. Thus, it can be reasonably assumed that Canada’s reluctance to recognize Kosovo was in part due to fears of rekindling secessionist momentum in Québec. According to André J. Bélanger, “The French-Canadian collective consciousness has roots that are deep and too resilient to be destroyed even if the distinctive characteristics of contemporary Québec are less definite.”[23] Fear of the separatist movement, even if there is no direct link between the Kosovo case and Québec, may well have contributed to Canada’s leaders treating the issue with caution.

Another probable reason explaining the reluctance of the Canadian government in making a decision is in regard to the future of Kosovo; the success of the nation remains dubious. For the past decade Kosovo has been administered and militarily aided by UN forces and NATO.  This is not likely to change in the near future. With an average annual salary of $1800 Kosovo is one of the poorest states in Europe: over thirty-seven percent of the population currently lives below the poverty line which equates to less than two dollars a day.[24] There is also a heavy level of crime found in the region: primarily in sex trafficking and the drug and arms trade. In 2004 Mark Biondich argued that “organized crime [was] a daunting problem for Kosovo and the Balakans” and that “politics and organized crime [were] closely linked.”[25] This remains the case today. The region is heavily dependent on foreign aid and independence does not change anything: Kosovo still needs international support to survive; it cannot do so on its own at this time. Indeed, independence may have increased the likelihood of its failure as now if Serbia retaliates – by cutting off electricity or trade for example – Kosovo will be unable to cope. Though Serbia was unlikely to take such drastic actions and has shown no indication of doing so since the declaration, it does serve to highlight the extreme vulnerability of the new nation. Ottawa may have feared that independence would create further problems, requiring more aid and more Canadian assistance. This would not have been likely to be found in Canada’s interest.

Similarly, the Canadian government may have feared the precedent Kosovo’s declaration would set for other Balkan states. According to Alexander Rahr, a political analyst at the German Council on Foreign Relations, “Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence, and especially its recognition by European countries, [has] opened up a Pandora’s Box. It [has] created a precedent for other separatist republics and autonomous regions, which [may] demand similar action and the same rights [as the] Kosovars.”[26] Some main examples of other groups who may now do the same thing include: the Basques of Spain, Triloeans from Italy, Hungarians from Romania, Caucasians from Russia, and Barvarians from Germany. Not to mention, the possible repercussions in the neighbouring countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina and  Macedonia where, according to Mark Biondich, any change to Kosovo was likely to change these states as well.[27] Indeed, the fear of other separatist groups stepping up their campaigns in light of the international attention given to Kosovo would not bode well for international security and stability: one of Canada’s general foreign policy aims.[28]

Lastly, the recognition of Kosovo by Ottawa was difficult for one more reason – the violation of UN authority. Canada has had a traditional foreign policy of respecting the UN and its decisions. However, Kosovo has not been recognized by the UN and, in effect, Canada is bypassing UN authority through declaring support for Kosovo, something that Serbia claims is breaking international law. In light of this claim it is important to have some small knowledge of both the Helsinki Accords of 1975 and the UN Resolution 1244 (1999). The Helsinki Accords, of which Canada was a signing member, declare that states will “respect each other’s sovereign equality and individuality as well as all the rights inherent in and encompassed by its sovereignty.” More specifically the document states that signatories will “consider that their frontiers can be changed, in accordance with international law, by peaceful means and by agreement.”[29] The UN Resolution 1244 was a Security Council document, adopted in 1999 that, among other things, including sending a UN force to ensure security, reaffirmed Serbia’s sovereignty over Kosovo.[30] Therefore, Serbia’s claim of the separation being “illegal” under international law is indeed justified. Certainly as Canada is a signatory to the above two declarations it is violating international law by recognising independence. Without UN recognition, Canada loses moral high-ground in supporting a handful of states that have acted unilaterally to support Kosovo.[31] By following such actions Canada cannot claim to be a prominent supporter of the UN, and this may well have caused Ottawa to pause in its deliberations.

However, it is important to note that Canada’s previous participation in the NATO bombing campaign of 1999 was a complete violation of international law. Indeed according to Marjorie Cohn, “it violated the United Nations Charter, the NATO treaty, the Nuremburg Tribunal, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and many other provisions of international law.”[32] In light of this, one might speculate that conceivably the UN is no longer a significant factor in Canada’s foreign policy, or at least that its importance has been reduced. Nevertheless, the historical precedent of supporting the United Nations would likely have had some effect on Canada’s decision.

The reasons behind Canada’s reluctance in endorsing Kosovo’s bid for independence are now relatively clear. Québec separatism, the stability of Kosovo and of the Balkans, and regard for UN authority, loomed large in the decision process of Canada’s leaders. Though the arguments against the recognition of Kosovo were strong, the Canadian government concluded that to support Kosovo’s independence was ultimately in Canada’s interest.

Canada’s Decision

According to Boba Borojevic, “it is not easy to find the exact reason for Canada’s recognition of Kosovo.”[33] This is certainly the case as government documents are unavailable and the true reason for Canada’s decision will not be known for some time. However, through various media reports, the advice of experts, and the comments of retired military personnel, a fairly clear picture can be uncovered. Canada, as far as can be surmised at the moment, made the decision for three primary reasons: commitment to NATO and partner countries, Canadian interests and reputation in the area, and public sentiment. There is also the possibility that Canada acted as a direct favour towards the US to help with other Canadian interests.

Canada’s commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has remained strong from its inception till the present. Indeed, for post-1945 Canada, internationalism and alliances have dominated Canadian security policy: NATO has been the primary alliance. Of the twenty-seven countries that had recognised Kosovo’s independence prior to Canada’s decision, fourteen of them were members of NATO: Denmark, Estonia, France, the United States, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.[34] For Canada, pressure to recognise Kosovo as part of this alliance was strong, especially from the US and the UK. Canada’s participation in NATO has largely been to ensure good trans-Atlantic relations and keeping these relations strong is always of top priority. As mentioned previously, Canada’s participation in KFOR was extensive and NATO has played the primary role in the region over the last decade – NATO’s public motive for going into Kosovo was humanitarian. By not recognising the new country Canada’s actions would reflect poorly on the unity of NATO and on NATO’s mission in the region. To keep NATO an effective institution in order to guarantee trans-Atlantic cooperation, Canada must support the organization at every possible opportunity. Therefore, in order to show a unified front and keep relations in NATO harmonious, Canada had to follow suit in recognizing Kosovo.

Another strong factor in Canada’s decision was the fear of international backlash. Canadian forces have played a large role in Kosovo over the last decade, and because of this Canada has a certain international reputation in that area. As Mark Biondich states, “at any given time [since] 1992, Ottawa has deployed an average of 1200 to 2000 peacekeepers in the region.” As well, Canada’s participation in KFOR was the “largest Canadian involvement in any military campaign since the Korean War.”[35] Though the attack is widely disputed in terms of its humanitarian purpose,[36] Canada did participate extensively and thus to not recognize the new country could be seen as an admittance to claims that our ‘humanitarian intervention’ was motivated by other factors. Indeed, not recognizing the unilateral declaration of independence, Canada would, according to Major General Lewis Mackenzie, be “acknowledging that the bombing campaign was a mistake – which it was.”[37]

Adding to Canada’s contribution in the region is the fact that one of Canada’s refugee programs has helped over 30,000 refugees from the area enter Canada since 1996, and that, prior to 2003, Canada had provided over $200 million for peace-building activities.[38] Indeed, as demonstrated by Canada’s involvement, Kosovo has loomed large in our foreign policy. In terms of recognizing independence, Robert Austin, who was interviewed before the declaration of independence, believed that “qualified independence, or supervised independence, [was] the only solution that provide[d] us with a way forward.”[39] It is easy to understand then, that by not recognizing Kosovo publicly the Canadian government could easily be accused of hypocrisy and experience a loss of soft power and respect on the world stage.

Public sentiment in Canada is also a strong factor in understanding Ottawa’s decision. First of all, the Canadian forces have been involved in Kosovo for a over a decade so to not recognize the new state would anger both supporters and army personnel, as the Canadian contribution could, in effect, be seen as inconsequential. Secondly, to justify the war and Canada’s participation in Kosovo, the situation has been repeatedly labeled as a humanitarian mission. Independence would thus seem to be in accordance with this goal; if Ottawa did not recognize Kosovo it would discredit itself, and its role in Kosovo to the Canadian people.[40] Lastly, there was the direct pressure from the Albanian community. Over 20,000 Canadians identify themselves as Albanian,[41] many of whom were quite vocal in their support for Kosovo. Indeed, on Feb 17, 2008, thousands of Albanian-Canadians demonstrated this support in front of Ontario’s legislature building in Toronto.[42] There can be no doubt that public pressure on the Canadian government to recognize Kosovo was strong.

Last is the tenuous claim that Canada eventually recognized Kosovo as a way to try to get more help from the US in Afghanistan. This claim was put forward anonymously at the Montreal Forum on Kosovo[43] and has little evidence to support it. However, there exists the very real possibility of Canada recognizing Kosovo as a way to get the United States to respond in kind with an unknown objective of the Canadian government. At many points in Canada’s history, the government has acted in ways that have had the objective of influencing US decisions towards Canadian interests.[44] Recognition of Kosovo may well have been part of a bigger scheme involving the US.

Conclusion

The true reasons for Canada’s endorsement of Kosovo’s declaration of independence, as well as its hesitation to support that declaration are unknown to all but a few Canadian government officials. In time this will likely change, but for now one can only speculate as to the factors that allowed this decision to be made.

Through careful analysis one can deduce the likely elements involved in Canada’s reluctance to endorse the fledgling nation. Separatist tensions in Québec have always been a political minefield and, though the cases of Québec and Kosovo are not really comparable, the event could nevertheless have fueled separatist tensions yet again. Kosovo is not at this time a currently viable state, in essence it is a failed state and to support it may have brought grave repercussions to the Balkan area, as well as to the Kosovars themselves. Lastly, Canada’s international, UN-following, reputation was at stake, and the risk involved with recognizing a non-UN sanctioned country was considerable in terms of Canada’s worldwide reputation. It is primarily for these three reasons that Canada was reluctant to endorse Kosovo’s independence. These concerns were eventually trumped primarily by Canada’s commitment to NATO, by the international perception of our presence in the area, and by pressure from Canadian public sentiment. Other unknown factors may also have played a part in Ottawa’s ultimate decision, but this is impossible to know for the time being.

Kosovo’s declaration of independence and the resulting worldwide repercussions have created strong tensions in the international community and within certain nations themselves. Canada’s decision on this matter was difficult and complex, but for better or worse, Canada endorsed the new nation of Kosovo and will have to live with the consequences that arise out of this decision.

Sources:

“Albanians in Canada say Kosovo’s Independence shouldn’t raise fears about Québec,” Red Orbit (Feb 17, 2008).

“Albanians: Social and Cultural Life,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, (2008).

“Becoming a Country: What are the next steps on Kosovo’s road to independence?” CBC News, In Depth: The Balkans, (Dec. 11, 2007).

Bélanger, André J. “The Evolution of Nationalism in Québec,” in Ramsay Cook, Canada, Québec and the uses of Nationalism, 2nd ed., (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1995)

Biondich, Mark. “The Status of Kosovo: Political and Security Implications for the Balkans and Europe,” Canadian Security Intelligence Service Commentary (spring 2005, no. 87)

Bisset, James. “No to Kosovo Independence: Canada should not have recognized the Independence of Kosovo,” Global Research (April 2, 2008).

Borojevic, Boba. “Montreal Forum on Kosovo,” Serbianna.com (May 27, 2008).

Brown, Glenn. “Noble Cause or March of Folly?” in David G. Haglund, Ed., New NATO, New Century: Canada, the United States, and the Future of the Atlantic Alliance, (Canada: Center for International Relations, 2000)

“Canada Recognizes Kosovo, Serbia Pulls Ambassador,” CBC News (March 18, 2008).

Cohn, Marjorie. “The Myth of Humanitarian Intervention in Kosovo,” in Aleksander Jokie, Lessons of Kosovo: The Dangers of Humanitarian Intervention, (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2003)

Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe: Final Act, (Helsinki, 1975).

Edwards, Steven and Peter O’Neil, “Kosovo Independence a touchy issue for Canada” Ottawa Citizen (Feb 18, 2008).

Government of the Republic of Serbia, “Protest Conveyed to France, Britain, Costa Rica, Australia, and Albania,” (Feb 20, 2008).

“Harper defends Kosovo recognition as a unique case,” CBC News (March 19, 2008).

Joseph Buckley, William, ed., Kosovo: Contending Voices on Balkan Interventions (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000)

Judah, Tim. “A History of the Kosovo Liberation Army” in William Joseph Buckley, ed., Kosovo: Contending Voices on Balkan Interventions.

“Kosovo MPs proclaim Independence,” BBC News, (Feb.17, 2008).

Morton, W.L. “Nation, Identity, Rights: Reflections on W.L. Morton’s The Canadian Identity, in Ramsay Cook, Canada, Québec and the uses of Nationalism, 2nd ed., (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1995) 228.

Novosti, Ria. “Kosovo Independence: End of Europe” Global Research (Feb. 16, 2008).

Schnabel, Albrecht and Ramesh Thakur, eds., Kosovo and the Challenge of Humanitarian Intervention: Selective Indignation, Collective Action and International Citizenship (New York: United Nations Press, 2000)

Smith, Craig S. “Serbia Rejects Plan That Could Lead to Kosovo Independence,” New York Times (Feb 3 2007).

Tzortzi, Ellie. “Serbia Pledges Long-haul fight over Kosovo,” Reuters, (Feb, 17, 2008).

United Nations Security Council, “Resolution 1244,” (June 10, 1999).

“Who recognized Kosovo as an Independent State,” online website.

Young, Robert A. The Struggle for Québec: From Referendum to Referendum, (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999)

Zimonjic, Vesna Peric. “Kosovo: Independence will not improve Economy,” Inter Press Service (Feb. 20, 2008).


[1] Albrecht Schnabel and Ramesh Thakur, eds., Kosovo and the Challenge of Humanitarian Intervention: Selective Indignation, Collective Action and International Citizenship (New York: United Nations Press, 2000) 19.

[2] William Joseph Buckley, ed., Kosovo: Contending Voices on Balkan Interventions (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000) xii.

[3] Albrect Schnabel et al., 19.

[4] Tim Judah, “A History of the Kosovo Liberation Army” in William Joseph Buckley, ed., Kosovo: Contending Voices on Balkan Interventions, 121.

[5] Mark Biondich, “The Status of Kosovo: Political and Security Implications for the Balkans and Europe,” Canadian Security Intelligence Service Commentary (spring 2005, no. 87) 1.

[6] Albrecht Schnabel et al., 29.

[7] Mark Biondich, 1.

[8] Craig S. Smith, “Serbia Rejects Plan That Could Lead to Kosovo Independence,” New York Times (Feb 3 2007).

[9] “Kosovo MPs proclaim Independence,” BBC News, (Feb.17, 2008).

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ellie Tzortzi, “Serbia Pledges Long-haul fight over Kosovo,” Reuters, (Feb, 17, 2008).

[13] Government of the Republic of Serbia, “Protest Conveyed to France, Britain, Costa Rica, Australia, and Albania,” (Feb 20, 2008).

[14] “Canada Recognizes Kosovo, Serbia Pulls Ambassador,” CBC News (March 18, 2008).

[15] Robert A. Young, The Struggle for Québec: From Referendum to Referendum, (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1999) 3.

[16] This may have been the primary reason why Biafra was not recognized by the Canadian government when it broke away from Nigeria in 1967-1970.

[17] “Harper defends Kosovo recognition as a unique case,” CBC News (March 19, 2008).

[18] Ibid.

[19] “Canada Recognizes Kosovo, Serbia Pulls Ambassador,” CBC News (March 18, 2008).

[20] Nationalism in Québec, according to W.L. Morton, is based primarily on “language and culture.” In this context it has very little to do with oppression and suffering, other than perhaps in a psychological sense, and as such it cannot be compared to Kosovo.

W.L. Morton, “Nation, Identity, Rights: Reflections on W.L. Morton’s The Canadian Identity, in Ramsay Cook, Canada, Québec and the uses of Nationalism, 2nd ed., (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1995) 228.

[21] Steven Edwards and Peter O’Neil, “Kosovo Independence a touchy issue for Canada” Ottawa Citizen (Feb 18, 2008).

[22] Ibid.

[23] André J. Bélanger, “The Evolution of Nationalism in Québec,” in Ramsay Cook, Canada, Québec and the uses of Nationalism, 2nd ed., (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1995) 97.

[24] Vesna Peric Zimonjic, “Kosovo: Independence will not improve Economy,” Inter Press Service (Feb. 20, 2008).

[25] Mark Biondich, 12.

[26] Ria Novosti, “Kosovo Independence: End of Europe” Global Research (Feb. 16, 2008).

[27] Mark Biondich, 9-11.

[28]Ibid, 2.

[29] Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe: Final Act, (Helsinki, 1975).

[30] United Nations Security Council, “Resolution 1244,” (June 10, 1999).

During almost ten years of NATO/UN occupation none of the provisions of Resolution 1244 have been carried out.

James Bisset, “No to Kosovo Independence: Canada should not have recognized the Independence of Kosovo,” Global Research (April 2, 2008).

[31] This indeed would support Niall Ferguson’s prediction that “the decision to circumvent the UN will come back to haunt the NATO powers.”

Glenn Brown, “Noble Cause or March of Folly?” in David G. Haglund, Ed., New NATO, New Century: Canada, the United States, and the Future of the Atlantic Alliance, (Canada: Center for International Relations, 2000) 21.

[32] Marjorie Cohn, “The Myth of Humanitarian Intervention in Kosovo,” in Aleksander Jokie, Lessons of Kosovo: The Dangers of Humanitarian Intervention, (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2003) 130. Refer to p. 131 for a detailed explanation of each violation of international law.

[33] Boba Borojevic, “Montreal Forum on Kosovo,” Serbianna.com (May 27, 2008).

[34] “Who recognized Kosovo as an Independent State,” online website.

[35] Mark Biondich, 2.

[36] Geostrategic concerns of the US are most likely to have been responsible for the campaign. Indeed, these geostrategic objectives included: for the US to maintain its role as sole superpower in the world, to ensure hegemony over the transportation of rich oil deposits of the Caspian sea, as well as control of European markets, and lastly to provide a strong counterweight to Russian dominance of the area. For further reading refer to Marjorie Cohn in Aleksander Jokie, Lessons of Kosovo: The Dangers of Humanitarian Intervention, (Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2003) 121-123.

[37] Boba Borojevic, “Montreal Forum on Kosovo,” Serbianna.com, (May 27, 2008).

[38] These include humanitarian aid, helping re-establish security and rule of law, supporting human rights and free media projects and fostering economic cooperation.

Mark Biondich, 2.

[39] “Becoming a Country: What are the next steps on Kosovo’s road to independence?” CBC News, In Depth: The Balkans, (Dec. 11, 2007).

[40] This might also have repercussion on Canada’s role in Afghanistan.

[41] “Albanians: Social and Cultural Life,” The Canadian Encyclopedia, (2008).

[42] “Albanians in Canada say Kosovo’s Independence shouldn’t raise fears about Québec,” Red Orbit (Feb 17, 2008).

[43] Boba Borojevic, “Montreal Forum on Kosovo,” Serbianna.com (May 27, 2008).

[44] Canada’s role in promoting the Soviet threat to US fears is one of these. Canada’s stance on fisheries in the Washington Treaty of 1871 is another. Indeed, Canada’s role of interdiction in US politics has a long history.

2 responses to “Kosovo & the Canadian Decision

  1. D.I.D.

    This is very well done and well thought out. Hats off!

  2. Pingback: Canadian Elections and Foreign Policy: We’re a Dominion Again « The D.I.D Zone

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