By Mick Krever, CNN
Russian President Vladimir Putin last week cited the “well-known Kosovo precedent” in justifying his country’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Strobe Talbott, who served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State during the Kosovo conflict, under U.S. President Bill Clinton, called that analogy “bizarre.”
“That couldn’t be further from the truth,” Tablott said.
“Kosovo, remember, was a Muslim-dominated part … of Serbia, where the central government – dominated by the Serbs – were carrying out acts of virtually genocide. They were certainly doing ethnic cleansing, they were massacring people.”
“And it was a result of that there was an international invention, an armed intervention, to stop the killing.”
It was only years later peace was brokered – brokered with the assistance of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Talbott said – that Kosovo gained independence from Serbia.
“It bears no resemblance whatsoever to the case of Crimea and Ukraine.”