<b>Russia 'freed' to recognize seperatist movements worldwide</b>
Russia will reap the whirlwind as ethnic secessionist movements throughout the former Soviet Union grow stronger.
Jubilant Russian nationalists claim that "Western betrayal" has freed the Kremlin from any obligation to follow international laws in its own neighborhood.
"Russia faces a terrible dilemma now," says Nadezhda Arbatova, a leading scholar at the official Center for European Studies in Moscow. "I'm sure there will now be intense political pressure on the Kremlin to recognize breakaway entities in other former Soviet states, and extend this process to other areas, such as Ukraine," where there are restive ethnic Russian minorities.
Russian ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a candidate in presidential elections slated for March 2, welcomed Kosovo's independence with the bombastic claim that "a new division of the world has begun" with the West's demonstration of how to "create new states" from the bodies of older, sovereign ones.
There are four pro-Russian breakaway statelets on post-Soviet territory. The leaders of two, South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia, were in Moscow this week to press their case for full diplomatic recognition of their de facto independence. But the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union left large Russian minorities stranded in newly created independent states, as well as many other restive ethnic minorities locked into Soviet-era "autonomous" entities.
"This is a real Pandora's box, and there's no reason to be happy it's been opened," says Gennady Chufrin, vice rector of the official Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow. "If we start recognizing separatist entities, there will be no end to it. The international order, as we have known it, faces collapse."
"Russia will crush separatism on its own territory even more drastically than before, while supporting pro-Russian separatists elsewhere. It will be easy to explain this to the Russian people. It's the end of so-called morality-based foreign policy; now only power decides."
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0220/p06s ... tml?page=1
"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry