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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The experience of Kosovo could use Russia’s allies

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said Thursday that in the foreseeable future, Kosovo may become a member of FIFA, since “nowhere to go”. Earlier, Pristina, despite the protests of Russia and Serbia, adopted in UEFA, and even earlier to the IOC. While this is the most successful example of integration of the quasi-state in the big wide world through the influential organization. And this experience could easily learn a number of allies of Moscow.

Two days before the statement of the Russian Union of European football associations small majority adopted in its membership of the Football Association of Kosovo that will allow quasi-national team to compete at the European Championships, and its local clubs in the European cups. In addition to Russia from the countries – members of UEFA against such a step made by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Georgia, Spain, Israel, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. While UEFA said that in conducting the draw of football matches it will “dissolve” Russia and Kosovo into different groups, if the RFU will raise such a question.

“Earlier, UEFA took into its ranks Gibraltar, which is ridiculous from a football point of view”

In turn, the Football Association of Serbia is ready to sue UEFA the international football action in the court in Lausanne. This was confirmed by the Minister of sport and youth Vanja, Udovicic and the head of the office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric. Both emphasize that the basis of a claim – the Statute of UEFA, according to which its composition can only be taken by the member States of the UN. Thus, Djuric emphasized the fact that a number of States previously recognized the independence of Kosovo, were against its adoption in the UEFA family.

In General the feeling of many that the Republic of Kosovo is internationally recognized, only the result of American PR. UN – the last and final authority in the issue of recognition of new States, such decisions are not taken. For the recognition of required votes of two thirds of the member countries of the UN, that is, 129. At the moment, Pristina’s independence is recognized by 108 out of 193 countries, with Russia and China – two permanent members of the UN Security Council whose votes are critical, this idea categorically reject. The approval of the security Council – another required element that is independent even from the opinion of two thirds. That’s the way our world is (from a legal point of view).

Unrecognized and partially recognized gosudarstvennim way, legally Kosovo is not an independent state and subject of international law. Therefore, it cannot be the subject of legal co-optation in the structure associated with the UN and UNESCO. On the other hand, Kosovo has already been made to the international Olympic Committee (IOC), despite strong protests of many countries, and won the right to play as an independent state already at the next Olympic games in Brazil. But the IOC supposedly “out of policy”, and therefore can accept into their ranks anyone at its own discretion.

When making the same in Kosovo in UEFA there was an obvious conflict with the violation of the Charter of this organization. But before UEFA took into its ranks, for example, Gibraltar, which is funny from a football point of view and illegal from the point of view of international law (as the UN sees it). This moving team is already involved in the qualifying matches, entertaining not only the fish traders and smugglers, but also the entire football community. Trivial in itself and the existence of the Faroe Islands. On the other hand, individual members of the UEFA are England and Wales. If you dig into the details, the adoption in the international organizations of this scale of a region is possible only with the consent of “parent” country or the United Nations. The UN has not recognized Kosovo’s independence, therefore, requires the consent of Serbia. But still decided to through her mind – the process lobbied specially hired a law firm, which suggested a non-trivial interpretation of international law.

Now watch carefully. According to lawyers, lobbyists, the UN as the organization does not have total right to recognize the independence of a territory or particular ethnic groups seeking independence. This right is only at the individual member States of the UN. This subtlety of interpretation denies the subjectivity of international law have formally the highest court of the UN, by passing it to individual members of the organization indiscriminately. If we continue this logic, the UN should disband, handing her subjective rights of individual States, since the succession of the post-war system of legal rights is denied in its very basis. Russia has always advocated that the UN vote was decisive, and such prospects cannot be happy by definition. However, this mess with casuistry is not the beginning of it, and nothing stops her to try to extract from it their own benefit.

Still not resolved the issue with the football clubs of the Crimea, because Crimea is part of Russian Federation this kind of history is not do not apply. But the athletic Association of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno Karabakh and Transnistria will get kind of a chance.

Same-Karabakh and had previously attempted to perform such a trick. “Creeping” entry into the international community through numerous organizations of a global nature was almost the only chance for the expansion of the international status of the unrecognized republics. And the same legal loophole, described above, has been done Stepanakert for attempts at entry, for example, in lobbying the IOC with the support of the numerous and influential Armenian Diaspora. The conflicts that arose between the football teams of Armenia and Azerbaijan against this background, demanded their “breeding” in the period of the draw, now expected to dissolve the national teams of Russia and Kosovo.

In short, this tactic of joining the international organization was considered quite promising, but worked out very badly. Abkhazian football team, for example, regularly participates in tournaments “unrecognized Nations”. But the retaliatory conduct meetings and events in Abkhazia are regularly blocked by the music of the Georgian foreign Ministry, after which many teams are hesitant to arrive in Sukhum, not wanting to spoil relations with a country that allegedly has the patronage of the US and NATO. Because in Sukhum held their own – interesting, but not officially recognized tournaments, which in essence is also a step forward, just not confirmed politically.

In South Ossetia, by contrast, similar steps towards greater international recognition are ignored. There a couple of years ago went the way of the establishment of bilateral relations with individual municipalities in one particular Western European country – Italy. In Sicily, for example, a fairly small municipalities, which control the radical left or the extreme right political forces, willing to take any steps to protest against the government in Rome. The same goes for the moderately separatist “Northern League”, which were established direct contacts. In practice, this does not affect the expansion of international recognition of South Ossetia, although it looks quite interesting. In some cases, the municipalities pursue their own purely parochial, goals, but their problem, only to work for the common cause.

The main dilemma in this story – something to do that? “Creeping” in international recognition through affiliated with the UN or other reasons influential organization is a normal and understandable method, don’t use which is a sin. On the other hand, the use of Kosovo experience is also considered a sin, not only moral but also legal, since the very existence of “official Pristina” in its current form undermines the foundations of the still existing world order. Karabakh is a special case, since Armenia and the Diaspora use the mechanics of very diverse relations with the outside world and engage this world in my life. While Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the first place (ideally and in theory, harder in practice) focus on the system of international relations of Russia, which do not always fit strange statements from Tskhinvali and travel of local officials in the Italian province without coordination with the Russian Embassy in Rome.

However, Abkhazia still continue to work outside of the General context of the UN, UNESCO and UEFA, while in South Ossetia don’t even think about it and all, say, sporting events are focused solely on Russia. It is not even in geopolitics or ideology, but that such work is not structured. If in Sukhum there is some idea that the expansion of international recognition of Abkhazia – it is good, just as long as there are no practical capacity to do this, in Tskhinvali has still not bothered to prepare a conceptual document, in which at least outlined the basic idea for this reason. Mess with the Ministers of foreign Affairs and acting Minister did not solve the problem.

Legal nuances and differing interpretations of international law now not only a reason for writing dissertations of varying degrees of sanity. It is a tool that you can use for their own purposes, maybe without achieving instant results, but within the framework of constant pressure on an edge system, the definitive international law, in which gaps a lot more than I would like. Sports organizations are just a small part of this system. Only in that direction do we have to work and not to rest on their dubious laurels, before it gets worse.

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