Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kosovo Independence at expense of Lebanon?

It has been long said that Lebanon’s future is decided outside Lebanon. Despite, or rather because of its small size, the country is at the mercy of the international powers that be. That’s why the Kosovo Independence might very well backfire on Lebanon. How so?

The Geopolitical Weekly (free registration) has an interesting article analyzing the possible fall-out of Kosovo’s declared independence of last week. This move of Kosovo went straight against the interest of Russia that wants to expand its influence across Eastern Europe. To save face, Vladimir Putin will have to react.

He could do this in various ways, according to the article, one of which is use its allies to put pressure on America, the perceived driver behind Kosovo’s independence. In a first response, Russia has called for an emergency summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which is a group consisting of 11 former Soviet republics. Interesting enough, Putin has also invited Iran, clearly taking sides with this country to annoy America.

One of the main issues between Iran and America is the furthering of democracy in the Middle East by letting Lebanon choose its own president. Although the Geopolitical Weekly doesn’t cover this angle, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to speculate that Iran will obtain Russia’s backing in frustrating the democratic process in Lebanon.

Iran would be at risk of upsetting its ally Syria, in case the upcoming Arab League conference in Damascus would be boycotted by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but that’s a small price to pay for Iran, especially after the killing of Imad Mughniyeh, which according to analyst Michael Young might be used by Syria to pressure the other Arab states into attending.


Raed said...

Do you think Russians have not been aware for a long time that Kosovo was going to become independent? and that they even might have given their tacit green light for this to happen?
The Saudi king held a visit to Russia before the declaration of Kosovo's independence and he must have discussed this issue with the Russians. A friend who used to live for long years in Saudi Arabia told me that Friday sermons frequently focus on the persecution of Muslims in Kosovo.