Legal experts emphasized that while the court had ruled that Kosovo’s declaration of independence was legal, it had scrupulously avoided saying that the state of Kosovo was legal under international law, a narrow and carefully calibrated compromise that they said could allow both sides to declare victory in a dispute that remains raw even 11 years after the war there.
Political analysts said the advisory opinion, passed in a 10-to-4 vote by the court judges, is likely to spur other countries to recognize Kosovo’s independence. Of the 192 countries in the United Nations General Assembly, so far only 69, including the United States and a majority of European Union nations, have recognized Kosovo.
Reading the nonbinding opinion, whose political consequences could reverberate far beyond Kosovo, Hisashi Owada, president of the International Court of Justice, said that international law contained no “prohibition on declarations of independence” and consequently that Kosovo’s declaration “did not violate international law.”
Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leadership welcomed the court’s decision.
“This is a great day for Kosovo, and my message to the government of Serbia is ‘Come and talk to us,’ ” Kosovo’s foreign minister, Skender Hyseni, said after leaving the court, The Associated Press reported.
But Serbia was adamant it would never recognize what it had previously called a false state, while Russia, one of its staunchest allies, insisted the court’s decision did not provide a legal basis for Kosovo’s independence.
The New York Times has the entire article.
(lj is acting flaky for me, so if my tags don't show up, I tried, I really did!)