Russia links Tibet violence to Kosovo precedentMarch 18th, 2008 - 6:01 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, March 18 (RIA Novosti) Russia has said that the recent violence in Tibet is linked with the recognition by some states of the independence of Serbia’s breakaway province, Kosovo. In an interview published Tuesday in the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the recognition of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence by many countries, including the US and the majority of the European Union (EU) states, had “already reverberated in many regions.”
He said that the Kosovo issue was linked to recent riots in Tibet and demands for greater autonomy by ethnic Albanians in Macedonia.
“There are ground to presume that this is not occurring by chance,” he said.
“You can see what is happening in Tibet, how the separatists there are acting. The Albanians in Macedonia are already demanding a level of autonomy that is a clear step toward independence,” Lavrov said.
“Furthermore, events in other areas of the world give us grounds to assume that we are only at the beginning of a very precarious process,” the minister added.
Violence erupted in Tibetan capital Lhasa on March 10 as locals gathered to mark the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising.
There are conflicting reports behind the number of deaths, with China saying 13 civilians and 13 members of the security forces died, while exiled Tibetan leaders put the number of civilian deaths at around 80.
Lavrov also said that attempts were continuing in Kosovo “to force people to live in a state that has been illegally formed.”
Lavrov, who is due to begin a three-day tour of the Middle East Wednesday, also called on all Islamic countries to reject calls to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty.