President Barack Obama on Wednesday sought to debunk criticism that America has acted hypocritically in condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine, dismissing any comparison to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, MSNBC reported.
The president also argued that the comparison between Crimea and Kosovo makes no sense.
“Russian leaders have further claimed Kosovo as a precedent, an example, they say of the West interfering in the affairs of a smaller country … But NATO only intervened after the people of Kosovo were systematically brutalized and killed for years.”
“And Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations with Kosovo’s neighbors,” Obama added. “None of that even came close to happening in Crimea,” MSNBC reported.
Office for Kosovo and Metohija recalled in tonight’s statement that a referendum on the subject of independence was not conducted on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija, as well as that Albanians, Serbs or any other ethnic group that lives in Kosovo and Metohija did not participate in it, TANJUG reported.
The office points out in its statement that the unilateral independence of Kosovo and Metohija was proclaimed on February 17 2008 at the meeting of the so-called Kosovo Assembly, “which was not preceeded by any referendum of the citizens of Kosovo and Metohija, whether on a part or on the whole territory of Kosovo and Metohija”.
“The Office for Kosovo and Metohija, without intent to engage in the debate of great powers of the nature of the international law, wants to eliminate the confusion caused by certain statements about Kosovo and Metohija, in the context of the Crimea. The statement that could have been heard at the EU-US summit in Brussels ‘Kosovo has left Serbia after a referendum was organized which was not outside international law, but with careful collaboration with the United Nations and Kosovo’s neighbbours’, in our opinion, is unintended mistake or a consequence of error in the translation,” says the statement.
It also says that the UN, OEBS, “or any other international organization did not participate in the declaration of independence, niether with advice or confirmation”.
Earlier, Serbian historian Nebojsa Malic told RT that it could be the case that Obama’s speechwriter just “mistook the non-existent referendum in Kosovo with the referendum in Montenegro that took place in 2006.”
“If that is the referendum they were referring to, first of all, it is just baffling that they can’t tell apart Kosovo and Montenegro. Secondly, that is not exactly a paragon of democracy in international laws either,” Malic said.
“I am really not sure what sort of point they were trying to make, but you can’t just make up your own facts to boost your own argument. That is ridiculous,” he concluded.
There was one independence referendum in Kosovo in 1991. Its results were recognized by just one UN member, Albania.