A developing story, of course, but the BBC is reporting that the US, UK, France, Germany and Italy recognizing or pledging to recognize the independence of Kosovo. Wikipedia is also quick off the mark with its entry on the now-official flag.
The EU has papered over its differences, with the common foreign and security policy consisting of saying that Kosovo “does not set a precedent,” and then leaving it to member states to decide their own relations with the territory. Spain is the biggest EU country withholding recognition; others in this group include Cyprus and Slovakia (worried about the Hungarian minority, one presumes, and given the approach of one of the parties in the governing coalition they may be right to, though a KÃ¶ztÃ¡sasÃ¡g Kistranzdunaj (Republic of the Little Area Across the Danube) seems silly).
France has got to be a blow, considering it was the most pro-Serbian Western country during the conflict in 1999. If memory serves, some members of the French military were even charged with passing sensitive information to Serbia at about that time. French foreign minister Kouchner said that at some future date, both would be in the European Union together. I’m not sure that helps.
Consequences? Too early for me to say. It may indeed be a one-off, the last in the cascade of the former Yugoslavia.