This week saw many Western governments, including Great Britain, the US and Germany, officially recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state. Readers disagreed about whether this is a positive event or a dangerous precedent.
A recent scene from the eastern Kosovar town of Gnjilane
The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.
If Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States have the right to meddle in Serbian-Kosovar affairs, then the rest of the world should encourage dissident factions in Northern Ireland to revolt along with Mexicans in Texas and Basques in Spain. Then all of us can get into the business of interfering in other nations' internal disputes. Why not offer arms and NATO support to Chechnya as well? Afraid of Russian armed resistance? If Serbia were Russia the EU would not dare such an affront. -- Richard L. Stapp, US
Kosovo independence will definitely, without any doubt, lead to more separatist movements. Even those who have said "Kosovo is a special case" will not be able to say that anymore. Here in the southern US, we have a similar issue with Latinos. When they become a large majority, they will eventually do the same thing. -- James Cliff, US
Kosovo is finally independent, I think it's great. -- Justin, US
Some readers said Kosovo's independence sets a dangerous precedent for separatist groups
The EU has made a stupid decision with regard to Kosovo because it has chosen to ignore the minority Serbs who still live there. It makes no sense at all to incorporate this minority group within the boundaries of Kosovo. A far better idea would have been to allow the Kosovo Serbs to be part of Serbia. It will all end in tears! -- Anglesea, Great Britain
Well, now that Europe and the US have appeased the Albanians, will they also recognize the independence of the Basque region from Spain, Scotland from England? Or how about Bavaria seceding from Germany, and Quebec from Canada? Now Idaho, Vermont, and Texas can break from the USA and be given instant recognition from the EU and US. What is good for one is good for all, right? Oh but wait, that's not how western "democracy" works. Kosovo is nothing more than another stick in the eye of Russia. -- A. Reinhardt Knapp, US
The unique circumstances of Kosovo and the Balkans make it is hard to see Kosovar independence as facilitating any other separatist movements. -- Mirub Jager, Liechtenstein
Kosovo independence now opens the door to every American state and territory, including Hawaii, Alaska, Virgin Islands and the Marianas, to declare their independence from Washington. Now extend this to France and the provinces that have been under French occupation for a good 400 years, like Brittany, Normandy and Corsica. Moving on to Great Britain, where Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, now have a similar right to do as Kosovo did. Spain now has to face the moment of truth. The Catalans, the Basques and other ethnic minorities have a claim to their own states and Spain can no longer deny them that right. Freedom for one state means freedom for all! -- Kenneth V. Tellis, US
I don't think that an independent Kosovo should be recognized. What would happen if Bavaria or Brandenburg suddenly said they would like to be independent? And what about Quebec in Canada? -- Bert Schroeter, Canada