Is Greece moving towards Kosovo recognition? Fears of Serbian retaliation against Cyprus

Kosovo Pristina Greece

Is there a scenario for the recognition of Kosovo by Greece?

“Fires” ignited after an ambiguous statement by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias regarding Kosovo, who stated that the Greek position on Kosovo’s status has not changed, but said the 2010 declaration of Kosovo’s independence did not violate international law.

“Although our position on the status of Kosovo has not changed, we maintain a constructive attitude and support the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.

“As to the legitimacy of a possible recognition, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled in 2010 that Kosovo’s declaration of independence did not violate international law, as it was not the product of an unlawful use of force condemned by the Security Council, as was the case of the pseudo-state [of Northern Cyprus] in 1983.”

The view that the recognition of Kosovo by Greece is not ruled out was expressed by geostrategic analyst Efthymios Petrou.

“Since it has not been unequivocally rejected by Mr. Dendias, the possibility of recognition remains open. I do not rule it out,” he said.

Since the country became independent in 2008, NATO membership has been one of Kosovo’s top priorities.

“Thorn” remain because of the fact that four NATO member states, including Greece, do not recognise Kosovo, and because dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo has not progressed.

At the same time, the geostrategic analyst sees the possibility that NATO is behind a possible pressure on Greece to recognise it.

“It is a general policy of NATO to include all the countries of the Western Balkans. Among them is Kosovo. All members must agree on this. If some countries like Greece do not recognise it, then the accession will not proceed,” he emphasised.

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Christodoulos Giallouridis, a professor of international politics at Panteion University, expressed the view that Greece will not recognise Kosovo.

“It is of no use for Greece to recognise it, because then it will sever its traditional friendly relations with Serbia. If it proceeds with recognition, then it is very likely that Serbia will recognise the pseudo-state of Cyprus as retaliation,” he stressed.

The same view on the issue of recognition is expressed by Petrou, who emphasises that it is possible that the Serbs will recognise the Turkish Cypriot formation in response to a possible Greek recognition of Kosovo, although legally it is not the same problem.

“Greece has a traditional relationship with Serbia and considers it an embankment on the Muslim arc. At the same time, Turkey ‘s attempt to infiltrate Serbia through trade and business agreements should be of concern,” he stressed.

Analysts have argued in the past that a review of the balance of power and a gradual reduction in NATO influence in the region over the past few years has led NATO to try to regain lost ground and re-integrate Kosovo, boosting security and stability in the region.

READ MORE: Diplomatic source: Greece is not recognising Kosovo’s independence.