The Russian Foreign Ministry on its official website on March 11, 2014 issueda “Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol”, in which, among other things, it justified intention of the Crimean authorities to separate from Ukraine with decision of Kosovo authorities to secede from Serbia and the recognition of this decision by the International court of Justice in 2010.

“The Declaration consists of an international legal justification for this step, with reference to the UN Charter and other international instruments, as well as the resolution of the UN International Court on Kosovo at 22nd of July, 2010. In the resolution, adopted at the request of the UN General Assembly on the initiative of Serbia, the International Court of Justice confirmed the fact that the unilateral declaration of independence by one part of the state does not violate any rule of international law”, said in the Foreign Ministry statement.

The “Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers the decision of the Crimean parliament as legitimate”, – added the agency.

However, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is cunning. During the secession of Kosovo from Serbia in 2008, Russia did not recognize the right of the land to such a decision, called it illegal and strongly condemned its support by other countries. Russia has not recognized Kosovo’s independence until now. From the
Statement of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Kosovo on February 17, 2008:

“On 17 February, the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo announced the unilateral proclamation of independence of the province. This constituted a violation of the sovereignty of the Republic of Serbia, the Charter of the United Nations, Security Council resolution 1244 (1999), the principles of the Helsinki Final Act, the constitutional frameworks of Kosovo and the high-level agreements of the Contact Group. Russia fully supports the reaction of the leadership of Serbia to events in Kosovo and its justified insistence on the restoration of the territorial integrity of that country”.

The statement ended with the words:

“It must not be ignored that the decisions of the leadership of Kosovo risk escalating tension and inter-ethnic violence in the province and giving rise to new conflict in the Balkans. The international community must react responsibly to this challenge. Those contemplating supporting separatism must understand that their actions threaten to have dangerous consequences for the decades-old foundations of the world order and international stability, and the authority of the decisions of the United Nations Security Council”.

The referendum on secession of Crimea from Ukraine is planned on Sunday, March 16, 2014. In the case of a positive decision, Russia expects to annex Crimea to its federation.