vestigation of the issues and facts that divide the international community in its responses to the secessions of Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia reveal that the legality of these secessions are not the only determining factors. A review of the literature seems to suggest that power politics has a role to play in the responses to these secessions. In other words, there is an emerging trend indicating that it is possible to conclude that world powers are more inclined to support or refuse to support an entity’s secession based on political rather than legal reasoning. The purpose of this research is to demonstrate that power politics permits what amounts to a spin on the international legal framework for statehood and state recognition.
The secessions of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Kosovo will be compared and contrasted with a view to determining the way that the international community should have responded to these secessions and how they in fact, responded. It will be argued that from a purely legal perspective the secessions are no different from one another, and power politics plays a greater role in the international community’s responses than international customary law.
The 2008 declarations of independence by South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Kosovo was met by entirely different responses by the international community, specifically international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe (CoE) and the Organizations for Security Cooperation with Europe (OSCE) .2 The CoE, the UN and the OSCE readily recognized Kosovo’s independence but at the same time did not accept and recognize the secession of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.3 The European Union (EU) which occupies a unique position in its relationship with Russia, was split on Kosovo’s independence and unquestionably unsupportive of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.4 NATO and the United States (US) accepted and recognized Kosovo’s independence but outright refused to accept