Slovakia: Declaration violates basic international law

BRATISLAVA -- Slovakia may never recognize Kosovo, Premier Robert Fico said Sunday.

He was reacting to the latest speculation that Slovakia, an EU member firmly opposed to the Kosovo Albanians' unilateral secession from Serbia, "could automatically make the recognition in four months".

Fico was speaking in a debate organized by the state broadcaster, STV, to say that the four-month period, mentioned by Foreign Minister Jan Kubiš, is "only a technical deadline".

"This is the deadline for Kosovo institutions to take their jurisdiction. That does not mean that Slovakia will automatically recognize Kosovo as an independent state afterwards," he said.

"Today, I do not exclude the possibility that Slovakia will never recognize Kosovo," Fico explained, and went on to say:

"Kosovo is not some independent territory, it is an integral part of Serbia where Serbs, and members of the Albanian ethnic minority live."

"The declaration of independence violate the basic principles of international law, and by that I mean, the right of peoples to self-determination, and the inviolability of borders," the Slovak prime minister said.

Fico was yet another official who likened the developments in the Kosovo status crisis with the 1938 Munich Agreement.

Western powers allowed Hitler's Germany to tear a part of the Czechoslovakian territory, Sudetenland, inhabited by majority ethnic Germans, in the hope of appeasing Berlin and avoiding a war, which broke out only a year later.

For the Czechs, but also the Slovaks, this violation of their country is known as the "Munich betrayal", and is considered to be the worst trauma of their recent history.

Slovakia, the county's prime minister said, wants Kosovo debated at the UN, and it also wants to see the world organization make relevant decisions about the province's future, since it is the only one that can decide on the change of borders.

"The EU is an influential organization, but it is not the place where decisions about the fate of other nations can be taken," Fico warned.

The Slovakian officials have in the past couple of days repeatedly stated that "no amount of pressure" will force them to change their Kosovo position.