The ruling by a UN court backing Kosovo’s self-declared independence has failed to move two influential opponents of the breakaway.
Spain and Russia have repeated that they will not recognise Kosovo.
Pristina is hoping for more international recognition, but it knows that in the Kremlin, Serbia has friends in high places.
Several analysts argue the case will not affect other moves for independence. Moscow disagrees.
Vladmir Tchijov is Russia’s ambassador in the European Union:
“Well any decision, even such an advisory opinion like this one of the Court may be perceived and may be used as a precedent by many people across the world. There are many countries that have problems of territorial integrity. There are, I would say, dozens if not hundreds of situations across the globe where this deliberation of the international court has been followed with great attention.”
Serbia wants to bring the matter before the UN General Assembly. Moscow, which has historic ties with Belgrade, is likely to back its case says Tchijov:
“I hope that this opinion of the Court will not be used as a pretext by some governments to pressure Serbia, and other countries that have not recognised the independence of Kosovo, to change their minds.”
There has been anger at the ruling in northern Kosovo where Serbs form the majority. Serbia, which lost control of Kosovo after a NATO bombing campaign in 1999 says it will never recognise the territory’s independence. Belgrade has also received strong backing from another European country with separatist fears of its own.
Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister, Maria Teresa Fernandez De La Vega, said that Madrid maintained its position in favour of dialogue in resolving the conflict. She said the Balkan region had recently lived through Europe’s most bloody conflict since World War II. Nobody, she went on, could compare this situation with Spain’s prosperity and the rules it had established for its regions.
The Serbian government says a pandora’s box has been opened for secessionist movements. But despite its stance, Belgrade says it wants to negotiate a compromise with Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leaders.