The Assembly of Kosovo, then a province of Serbia under transitional UN administration (UNMIK), approved a declaration of independence on 17 February 2008. Kosovo was soon recognized as a sovereign state by the United States, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the Republic of China (Taiwan), and others. This triggered an international debate over whether Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence had set a precedent in international law that could apply to other separatist movements, or whether it is a special case. The recognition of Kosovo's independence by 110 out of 193 UN states, according to many sources, has given fresh impetus to other separatist movements.
There is an estimation that a group of between 70 and 200 unrecognized nations and organizations use the Kosovo precedent to achieve their goals. Abkhazia and South Ossetia renewed their calls for the recognition of their sovereignty. Kosovo's independence also led to increased tensions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the Republika Srpska vetoed recognising Kosovo, and threatened to declare independence themselves. The Republic of Crimea proclaimed its independence from Ukraine on 11 March 2014, citing the Kosovo precedent, and was annexed by the Russian Federation a week later.
Some leaders argue that the Kosovo situation is unique and does not establish a precedent.
In a statement issued 19 February 2008 the U.S. State Department argued every territorial conflict is unique. It said Kosovo's unilateral independence cannot be used by other states to resolve disputes. When asked about the Kosovo's independence in reference to recognition of South Ossetia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice dismissed it and said, "we've been very clear that Kosovo is sui generis and that that is because of the special circumstances out of which the breakup of Yugoslavia came. The special circumstances of the aggression of the Milosevic forces against Kosovars, particularly Albanian Kosovars, and it’s a special circumstance."
Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon in an interview for Interfax news agency said "Each situation needs to be examined based on its unique circumstances," and said Kosovo was a "highly distinctive situation" because of the intervention of the international community. At the same time he emphasised that recognition is left up to UN member states and is not decided by the Secretariat or the Secretary-General.
Some argue that Kosovo establishes a precedent for other people who wish to secede.
A number of political leaders have voiced their belief that the independence of Kosovo will create a dangerous precedent for other separatist movements.
To minimize a serious influence of Kosovo Precedent to the solution of other conflicts, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held in Kiev in July 2007 issued a warning that "solution of certain conflicts should not be used as a model for the solution of other conflicts".
Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in 2008: "Our position is extremely clear. Any resolution on Kosovo should be approved by both sides. It is also clear that any resolution on Kosovo will definitely set a precedent in international practice." Analysts have taken this as meaning the Russian Federation would come out for the independence of de facto independent breakaway regions in the former Soviet Union.
Sergei Mironov, the chairman of Russia's upper house of parliament stated in December 2007, "In case of the unilateral recognition of the independence of Kosovo, Russia will be entitled to change its approach to the so-called unrecognised republics in the post-soviet regions - South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Pridnestrovie." He went on to state "In case of such a recognition of Kosovo, Russia will be able to say that it is free in its approach, including towards the so-called unrecognised republics of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Transnistria."
Immediately following Kosovo's declaration of independence the Russian officials appeared to soften their position, with Boris Gryzlov stating only that Moscow should “reshape its relations with self-proclaimed republics” which according to news reports could mean lifting the economic embargo on the regions.
On 13 March 2008, following a hearing on the unrecognised republics, the Russian Duma Committee for CIS recommended an upgrading of relations with Abkhazia, Transnistria, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and South Ossetia - including the possibility of recognition. Other recommendations included or reported include:
Alexei Ostrovsky, chairman of the lower house's committee on former Soviet affairs said at the parliamentary hearing, "The world community should understand that from now on the resolution of conflicts in the ex-Soviet area cannot be seen in any other context from that of Kosovo."  Participation of the breakaway republics in international organisations and forums was also mentioned in a press release before the hearings. The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily described the hearing as "the launch of a procedure of recognition". The committee recommendations were set to go to a vote a week after the hearing. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said the ministry would "look carefully at all the recommendations" but that Russian policy remained unchanged.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated in 2008: "A precedent is objectively created not just for South Ossetia and Abkhazia but also for an estimated 200 territories around the world. If someone is allowed to do something, many others will expect similar treatment." Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee Mikhail Margelov said the precedent set by Kosovo "will inspire separatists not only in Europe, but in the Middle East as well."
In 2014 Russia recognized Crimean independence, but not Kosovo.
EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana has expressed concern that Kosovo's campaign for independence could set a precedent for Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On 6 March 2008 Russia's Foreign Ministry announced it had lifted sanctions on Abkhazia and called on other CIS member states to do the same. Russia denied the event had any connection to Kosovo, but Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze said she believed the move was part of Russia's response to Kosovo's declaration and signals an attempt to "annex" Abkhazia.
Eduard Kokoity, the President of South Ossetia's breakaway republic, speaking immediately after Kosovo's secession said, "Some countries will recognise our republics [South Ossetia and Abkhazia]. I cannot rule out that some of them may do so later this year. Russia, however, will not necessarily be the first to recognise our independence." South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Transnistria have all submitted formal requests for recognition of their independence to Russia, among other countries, and international organisations citing Kosovo as a precedent.
Abkhazia's Sergei Bagapsh and South Ossetia's Eduard Kokoity said in a statement addressed to the United Nations: "If Kosovo is separated from Serbia and its independence is recognised, one more powerful proof will emerge that ethnic conflicts can be solved on principles other than a respect for territorial integrity ... Abkhazia and South Ossetia have just as strong grounds to demand independence as Kosovo." Separately, Sergey Bagapsh said "The fate of Kosovo has been ordained, thus our fate will also be determined in the nearest future."
In October 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that parallels between Kosovo and South Ossetia are "inappropriate" and that "We are categorically against drawing parallels between the Balkan events and the events in the Caucasus. As concerns South Ossetia – it’s our unambiguous, absolutely clear position – it about repelling direct military aggression. And what was done by Russia after that, was done in full accordance with the UN Charter." and that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence and the events that followed "have confirmed the inadequacy of attempts to adjust the solution of complex international problems to considerations of notorious political expediency. We consider it unacceptable to do what was done in the Kosovo precedent – to use the lack of progress at negotiations as the reason for unilateral actions, including recognition of new international legal entities." and that the solution to the Kosovo problem should be based upon "the international law, decisions of the UN, resolutions of the UN Security Council and, primarily, Resolution 1244".
Armenia's Deputy Parliament Speaker Vahan Hovhannisyan has said Kosovo's independence will influence the settlement of the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan declared at the UN General Assembly session in October 2007 that the Armenian side “does not understand and cannot accept the reverse logic that Kosovo was given independence and that another nation cannot obtain self-determination." Before being elected president, Armenian prime-minister Serzh Sargsyan said Kosovo was not a precedent for Karabakh. He underlined that Nagorno-Karabakh has been independent for the past 17 years. However, former President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan said "The Kosovo precedent is too important for Armenia. Certainly, this will have a positive influence for recognition of independence of Nagorno Karabakh Republic".
An Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry spokesman has said of Kosovo: "We view this illegal act as being in contradiction with international law." Following a skirmish between Armenian military forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan forces which left 4 Azeri and 12 Armenian soldiers dead, Azerbaijan said it was sparked by international recognition of Kosovo. US State Department Spokesman Tom Casey rejected the comparison stating "Kosovo is not a precedent and should [not] be seen as a precedent for any other place out there in the world. It certainly isn't a precedent for Nagorno-Karabakh."
President of the unrecognised Transdniestrian Moldovan Republic, also known as Transnistria, Igor Smirnov said that "the Russian leadership, in recognising the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, has underlined the priority of the expression of the wills of the people for solving such problems."
On 27 August, the day after Russia's recognition, Dmitry Medvedev met with President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin, where the Russian leader made clear that Moscow is ready to make the maximal efforts to solve the Transnistrian problem in the framework of the sovereignty of the Republic of Moldova. Relations between Moldova and Transnistria worsened after Moldova refused to support the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Chişinău categorically rejected, considering that "as in the case of the recognition of Kosovo, this step only decreases amenability of the sides in the search for a compromise."
According to a poll of Bosnian Serbs taken by the Brussels-based Gallup Balkan Monitor in November 2010, 87 percent would support a referendum being called on Republika Srpska's independence from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Since Kosovo's declaration of independence Bosnian Serb nationalists have called for Dodik to fulfill his promises and call a referendum. Dodik has since said he will only call a referendum if Srpska's autonomy is threatened. Despite this Bosnian Serb lawmakers passed a resolution on February 21, 2008 calling for a referendum on independence if a majority of the UN members (97 out of 192), especially members of the European Union, recognise Kosovo's declaration of independence. After the resolution was passed the U.S. cut aid to the SNSD and the resolution was condemned by the European Union. The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) overseeing Bosnia and Herzegovina said the country's entities have no right to secede. The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Miroslav Lajcak said Srpska has "absolutely no right" to secede and that he would use his Bonn Powers "if there are threats to peace and stability" or the Dayton peace agreement.
In an interview, Dodik said if most countries recognise Kosovo's self-proclaimed independence, this would legitimise the right to secession and added "we do not see a single reason why we should not be granted the right to self-determination, the right envisaged in international conventions."
Ozdil Nami, a senior Turkish Cypriot official, told the Turkish Daily News, "When diplomatic efforts are exhausted other alternatives are put on the table. We clearly see this in Kosovo where diplomacy proved futile and other formulas are floating around. This will certainly have an impact on Cyprus." Nami suggests the resolution of Kosovo may be applied to North Cyprus well. According to Nami, "Everyone sees 2008 as the last window of opportunity for a solution to the Cyprus problem." He claims Cyprus is being warned that "other alternatives could be on the agenda" if there is no resolution. Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has rejected this connection saying "We do not see a direct link between the situation in Kosovo and the Cyprus Problem. These problems have come up through different conditions."
Since the 2001 insurgency in the Republic of Macedonia, there has been several terrorist incidents in the Republic of Macedonia involving Albanian militants. In 2012 there was some civil unrest. The Smilkovci lake killings (12 April 2012), government rocket attack (28 October 2014), Gošince attack (21 April 2015) and Kumanovo clashes (9–10 May 2015) were claimed by the National Liberation Army, which gave the message that "We do not want any framework agreement and if we see you here again, we will kill you. We want our own state."
On 20 February 2008, days following Kosovo's declaration of independence, it was widely interpreted in Israel, from Yasser Abed Rabos comments, that Palestine may follow suit with a declaration of its own. Israel has criticized states that have recognized Palestine but refuse to recognize Kosovo, and stated that Israel will not recognize Kosovo until all European states do so.
Russian diplomat Konstantin Kosachev said that granting Kosovo independence against the suzerainty of Serbia has opened Pandora's box, but prognosed that Catalonia would remain a part of Spain after the referendum.
Since the independence declaration, the Serb-inhabited North Kosovo, through its municipalities and subsequently the Assembly of the Community of Municipalities, was de facto independent during the North Kosovo crisis, until the Brussels Agreement (2013). In 2012, a referendum saw 99.74% of voters reject the Republic of Kosovo. A planned Community of Serb Municipalities is set to be formed.
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation, a group of some 70 members from Abkhazia over Kurdistan to Zanzibar is and will be using the Kosovo precedent to pursue its objectives.
The influence of the Kosovo precedent is so serious that the declaration of the summit of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Kyiv on 9 July 2007 contained a warning that solution of certain conflicts should not be used as a model for the...
"We, the members of the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council, with regard to the charter of the United Nations and a whole range of other international documents and taking into consideration the confirmation of the status of Kosovo by the United Nations International Court of Justice on July 22, 2010, which says that unilateral declaration of independence by a part of the country doesn't violate any international norms, make this decision," says the text of the declaration, which was published by the Crimean media.
During the last year or two years, relations between the leadership of Slovakia and the native ethnic Hungarians, who live in close-knit communities in the country's south, have worsened once again, for which reason the Kosovo precedent is viewed in Slovakia as a potential treat to territorial integrity of the comparatively young Slovak state.
An international diplomatic crisis between Georgia and Russia began in 2008, when Russia announced that it would no longer participate in the Commonwealth of Independent States economic sanctions imposed on Abkhazia in 1996 and established direct relations with the separatist authorities in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The crisis was linked to the push for Georgia to receive a NATO Membership Action Plan and, indirectly, the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo.
Increasing tensions led to the outbreak of the Russo-Georgian War in 2008. After the war, a number of incidents occurred in both conflict zones, and tensions between the belligerents remained high.Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation
The Crimean Peninsula was annexed from Ukraine by the Russian Federation in February–March 2014 and since then has been administered as two Russian federal subjects—the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. The annexation was accompanied by a military intervention by Russia in Crimea that took place in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and was part of wider unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine.On 22–23 February 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin convened an all-night meeting with security service chiefs to discuss the extrication of deposed Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych. At the end of the meeting Putin remarked that "we must start working on returning Crimea to Russia". On 23 February, pro-Russian demonstrations were held in the Crimean city of Sevastopol. On 27 February masked Russian troops without insignia took over the Supreme Council (parliament) of Crimea, and captured strategic sites across Crimea, which led to the installation of the pro-Russian Aksyonov government in Crimea, the conducting of the Crimean status referendum and the declaration of Crimea's independence on 16 March 2014. Russia formally incorporated Crimea as two federal subjects of the Russian Federation with effect from 18 March 2014.
Ukraine and many world leaders condemned the annexation and consider it to be a violation of international law and Russian-signed agreements safeguarding the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the Belavezha Accords establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1991, the Helsinki Accords, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances of 1994 and the Treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. It led to the other members of the then G8 suspending Russia from the group, then introducing the first round of sanctions against the country. The United Nations General Assembly also rejected the vote and annexation, adopting a non-binding resolution affirming the "territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders". The UN resolution also "underscores that the referendum having no validity, cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of [Crimea]" and calls upon all States and international organizations not to recognize or to imply the recognition of Russia's annexation. In 2016, UN General Assembly reaffirmed non-recognition of the annexation and condemned "the temporary occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine—the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol".The Russian Federation opposes the "annexation" label, with Putin defending the referendum as complying with the principle of self-determination of peoples. In July 2015, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Crimea had been fully integrated into Russia.Greater Albania
Greater Albania is an irredentist concept of lands that are considered to form the national homeland by many Albanians, based on claims on the present-day or historical presence of Albanian populations in those areas. In addition to the existing Republic of Albania, the term incorporates claims to regions in the neighbouring states, the areas include Kosovo and the Preševo Valley of Serbia, territories in southern Montenegro, northwestern Greece (the Greek regional units of Thesprotia and Preveza, referred by Albanians as Chameria, and other territories that were part of the Vilayet of Yanina during the Ottoman Empire), and a part of western Republic of Macedonia.
The unification of an even larger area into a unique territory under Albanian authority had been theoretically conceived by the League of Prizren, an organization of the 19th century whose goal was to unify the Albanian inhabited lands (and other regions, mostly from the region of Macedonia, Epirus and Montenegro) into a single autonomous Albanian Vilayet within the Ottoman Empire. However, the concept of a Greater Albania, as in greater than Albania within its 1913 borders, was implemented only under the Italian and Nazi German occupation of the Balkans during World War II. The idea of unification, has roots in the events of the Treaty of London in 1913, when roughly half of the predominantly Albanian territories and 40% of the population were left outside the new country's borders, something that Albanians have tended to regard as an injustice imposed by the Great Powers.
According to the Gallup Balkan Monitor 2010 report, the idea of a Greater Albania is supported by the majority of Albanians in Albania (63%), Kosovo (81%) and the Republic of Macedonia (53%), although the same report noted that most Albanians thought this unlikely to happen.In a survey carried out by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), published in March 2007, only 2.5% of the Albanians in Kosovo thought unification with Albania is the best solution for Kosovo. Ninety-six percent said they wanted Kosovo to become independent within its present borders.Insurgency in the Preševo Valley
The Insurgency in the Preševo Valley was an armed conflict between the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the ethnic Albanian separatists of the Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac (UÇPMB). There were instances during the conflict in which the Yugoslav government requested KFOR support in suppressing UÇPMB attacks since they could only use lightly armed military forces as part of the Kumanovo Treaty that ended the Kosovo War, which created a buffer zone so that the bulk of Yugoslav armed forces could not enter.International Court of Justice advisory opinion on Kosovo's declaration of independence
Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence In Respect of Kosovo was a request for an advisory opinion referred to the International Court of Justice by the United Nations General Assembly regarding the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence. The territory of Kosovo is the subject of a dispute between Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo established by the declaration. This was the first case regarding a unilateral declaration of independence to be brought before the court.
The court delivered its advisory opinion on 22 July 2010; by a vote of 10 to 4, it declared that "the adoption of the declaration of independence of the 17 February 2008 did not violate general international law because international law contains no 'prohibition on declarations of independence'": nor did the adoption of the declaration of independence violate UN Security Council Resolution 1244, since this did not describe Kosovo's final status, nor had the Security Council reserved for itself the decision on final status. There were many reactions to the decision, with most countries which already recognise Kosovo hailing the decision and saying it was "unique" and does not set a precedent; while many countries which do not recognise Kosovo said they would not be doing so as the ruling could set a precedent of endorsing secession in other places.International recognition of Kosovo
Since its declaration of independence from Serbia (enacted on 17 February 2008), international recognition of Kosovo has been mixed, and the international community continues to be divided on the issue.
As of 4 November 2018, the Republic of Kosovo has received 116 diplomatic recognitions as an independent state, several of which have been withdrawn. As of January 18, 2019, 103 out of 193 (53%) United Nations (UN) member states, 23 out of 28 (82%) European Union (EU) member states, 25 out of 29 (86%) NATO member states, and 35 out of 57 (61%) Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states have recognised Kosovo. The Government of Serbia does not recognise it as a sovereign state, but has begun to normalise relations with the Government of Kosovo in accordance with the Brussels Agreement.International recognition of Transnistria
International recognition of Transnistria (also known as Pridnestrovie) – a disputed region in Eastern Europe located between Moldova and Ukraine – is controversial. Although Transnistria declared independence in 1990, no United Nations member recognises its sovereignty and the region is considered by the UN to be part of Moldova. As of 2011, only Abkhazia, the Republic of Artsakh and South Ossetia recognise its independence, all themselves states with limited recognition. Despite not officially recognizing Transnistria's independence, Russia has established a consulate in the disputed territory.Partition (politics)
In politics, a partition is a change of political borders cutting through at least one territory considered a homeland by some community.Common arguments for partitions include:
historicist – that partition is inevitable, or already in progress
last resort – that partition should be pursued to avoid the worst outcomes (genocide or large-scale ethnic expulsion), if all other means fail
cost–benefit – that partition offers a better prospect of conflict reduction than the if existing borders are not changed
better tomorrow – that partition will reduce current violence and conflict, and that the new more homogenized states will be more stable
rigorous end – heterogeneity leads to problems, hence homogeneous states should be the goal of any policyProposed secession of Republika Srpska
The Dayton Agreement ended the Bosnian War and created the federal republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), made up of two entities, the Bosniak and Croat-inhabited Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), and the Serb-inhabited Republika Srpska (RS). In the first years after the war, the Bosnian Serbs were viewed of as "anti-Dayton", however, since 2000, they are staunch supporters of the Dayton Agreement and preservation of RS. Bosniaks, overall, view RS as illegitimate and would see it abolished. There has been statements in RS regarding a theoretical future independence referendum from BiH in case of abolition. The 2006 Montenegrin independence referendum and Kosovo's declaration of independence in 2008 have raised the issue of RS's referendum and possibility of unification with Serbia. In 2015, RS government SNSD stated it would call an independence referendum in 2018 if RS's autonomy is not preserved, following a crisis in the country regarding judicial and police matters.Russia's reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence
Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia was enacted on Sunday, 17 February 2008 by a unanimous vote of the Assembly of Kosovo. All 11 representatives of the Serb minority boycotted the proceedings. International reaction was mixed, and the world community continues to be divided on the issue of the international recognition of Kosovo. Russia's reaction to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence is one of strong opposition.Russo-Georgian War
The Russo-Georgian War was a war between Georgia, Russia and the Russian-backed self-proclaimed republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The war took place in August 2008 following a period of worsening relations between Russia and Georgia, both formerly constituent republics of the Soviet Union. The fighting took place in the strategically important Transcaucasia region. It was regarded as the first European war of the 21st century.
The Republic of Georgia declared its independence in early 1991 as the Soviet Union began to fall apart. Amidst this backdrop, a war between Georgia and separatists left parts of the former South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast under the de facto control of Russian-backed but internationally unrecognised separatists. Following the war, a joint peacekeeping force of Georgian, Russian, and Ossetian troops was stationed in the territory. Meanwhile, a similar stalemate developed in the region of Abkhazia, where Abkhaz separatists had waged their own war in 1992–1993. Following Vladimir Putin's rise to power in Russia in 2000 and a pro-Western change of power in Georgia in 2003, relations between Russia and Georgia began to deteriorate, reaching a full diplomatic crisis by April 2008. By 1 August 2008, South Ossetian separatists began shelling Georgian villages, with a sporadic response from Georgian peacekeepers in the area. Artillery attacks by pro-Russian separatists broke a 1992 ceasefire agreement. To put an end to these attacks and restore order, the Georgian Army was sent to the South Ossetian conflict zone on 7 August. Georgians took control of most of Tskhinvali, a separatist stronghold, in hours.
Russian troops had illicitly crossed the Russo-Georgian state border and advanced into the South Ossetian conflict zone by 7 August before the Georgian military response. Russia accused Georgia of "aggression against South Ossetia", and launched a large-scale land, air and sea invasion of Georgia on 8 August with the pretext of "peace enforcement" operation. Russian and South Ossetian forces battled Georgian forces in and around South Ossetia for several days, until Georgian forces retreated. Russian and Abkhaz forces opened a second front by attacking the Kodori Gorge held by Georgia. Russian naval forces blockaded part of the Georgian coast. The Russian air force attacked targets beyond the conflict zone, in undisputed parts of Georgia. This was the first war in history in which cyber warfare coincided with military action. An active information war was also waged during and after the conflict. The French presidency of the European Union, in the person of Nicolas Sarkozy, negotiated a ceasefire agreement on 12 August.
Russian forces temporarily occupied the Georgian cities of Zugdidi, Senaki, Poti, and Gori, holding on to these areas beyond the ceasefire. The South Ossetians destroyed most ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia and were responsible for an ethnic cleansing of Georgians. Russia recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia on 26 August; in response, the Georgian government severed diplomatic relations with Russia. Russia mostly completed its withdrawal of troops from undisputed parts of Georgia on 8 October. In the aftermath, Russia's international relations were largely unharmed. The war displaced 192,000 people and while many returned to their homes after the war, 20,272 people, mostly ethnic Georgians, remained displaced as of 2014. Russia has, since the war, occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of the ceasefire agreement of August 2008.Separatism in the United Kingdom
Separatism in the United Kingdom may refer to the separation of any of the countries (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales) or historical regions (such as Ulster, Cornwall, and Cumbria).Serbia–Spain relations
Serbian-Spanish relations are foreign relations between Serbia and Spain. Both countries established diplomatic relations on October 14, 1916. Serbia has an embassy in Madrid. Spain has an embassy in Belgrade. Both countries are member states of the United Nations, Interpol, Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. Spain is member state of the European Union since 1986 and Serbia is a candidate country since 2012 negotiating its future membership which Spain is strongly supporting. Spain is member state of NATO alliance while Serbia is militarily neutral country with strong historical relations with the Non-Aligned Movement.
Spain is one of five member states of the European Union that does not recognize unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo and is actively opposing its membership in international organisations such as UNSCO and Interpol. In addition, Spain is supporting Serbia's insistence on establishment of Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo as provided by the 2013 Brussels Agreement signed under the auspices of the European Union. Some explained hard Spanish position towards Kosovo by drawing parallels with its own internal issues with the Catalan independence movement and with the United Kingdom dispute over Gibraltar. Serbia strongly supported Spanish territorial integrity during the 2017 Catalan independence referendum crisis with Serbian Foreign Minister stating that Spain is one of the best international friends of Serbia.In relation to third parties, both countries strongly support position of Argentina in its Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute with the United Kingdom.