Serbia Elects Pro-Western Leader

February 05, 2008 01:40 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Serbia re-elects President Boris Tadic, perhaps setting the stage for Kosovo independence. But Russia threatens to block UN recognition of the latter country’s sovereignty.

30-Second Summary

On Feb. 3, Tadic won 50.7 percent of the vote, defeating opponent Tomislav Nikolic by about three percentage points.

The election is seen as an indication that Serbians support pro-Western policies, a sentiment that will likely aid the nation in its bid for European Union membership.

NPR asserts that Tadic’s re-election will also help Kosovo’s bid for independence. Since 1999, Kosovo has been a Serbian province controlled by the United Nations. 

However, British newspaper The Guardian argues that the election results will actually make it more difficult for Kosovo to declare its autonomy.

After the election, senior member of the Russian parliament Konstantin Kosachyov stated, "If Kosovo proclaims its independence—and there is little doubt it will—this will influence Russia's approach toward developing relations with other self-proclaimed republics.”

Headline Links: The Serbian election and Russia’s threat to block Kosovo’s UN membership

Background: The Premier of Kosovo and Serbian protests

Historical Context: Balkan wars

The break-up of Yugoslavia
1992 onward
NATO’s involvement

Related Links: UN recommends independence

Analysis: The prospects of Kosovo independence


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