Serbia huffs and puffs as Kosovo slips away

Serbia huffs and puffs as Kosovo slips away
Author: Borka Tomic, PR Manager for the Serbian Institute for Public Diplomacy, Brussels, Belgium
8 December 2007 – Issue : 759
Only a few days before the Troika deadline of December 10, adamant as ever, Belgrade clutched to international law. It asserts unyieldingly that any change in international presence in Kosovo can occur only through the new resolution of the UN Security Council. With SC permanent member Russia principally opposing any solution not approved by both Belgrade and Pristina, Resolution 1244 remains the only legal act of the Security Council in Kosovo.
Indeed, three other legal acts confirm the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia in its southern province: the UN Charter, the Helsinki Act, and the Serbian Constitution. While the legal aspects of the Kosovo issue have been taken lightly in the past by the west, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the negligence of international law in the future Kosovo prospects. Pushing forward for independence is not exactly the “European policy” on the issue, but it seems that the acceptance of the “unavoidability of independence” is. The European Parliament rapporteur for Kosovo, Joost Langedijk, thus stated at a recent Balkans Summit in Brussels that “the independence of Kosovo is not a happy, but inevitable solution.” Peter Sain ley Berry, another political pundit expressed similar concern: “There is still the real prospect of new violence in the Balkans following a likely unilateral and illegal declaration of independence by the Kosovo authorities, as well as the rather shameful likelihood of the EU putting expediency before legality and recognising the illegal act rather than facing up to its own divisions.”
Serbia , for its part, is not wasting time. Its diplomatic efforts, focused on demonstrating the full democratic capacity of the country, seem to be bearing fruit. Harsher standpoint on Kosovo by the populist Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica is combined with softer but no less easy-going powers of arguments of the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic. While legalist Kostunica concentrates on the framework of Serbian sovereignty and territorial integrity, pragmatic Djelic offers concrete monetary and fiscal, as well as cultural independence and the opportunity for Kosovo to develop as a region within Serbia and the EU in the future.
Bozidar Djelic excludes military actions of Serbia in Kosovo: “Serbia will use all its diplomatic and legal means and not force in Kosovo.” In case of Kosovo Albanian proclamation of unilateral independence, “all conceivable measures short of military force could be envisaged” according to Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, who did not divulge the details of the action plan.
“Serbia doesn’t intend to rule over Kosovo Albanians” reaffirmed Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Djelic recently in Brussels. He also emphasised the political inclusion of Albanians of the Presevo valley, southern Serbia. It is here that the day of the Albanian flag, November 28, was celebrated without incidents and with considerable tolerance on the Serbian side for Albanian flag and national symbols.
On the other hand, in Urosevac, southern Serbia (Kosovo), Greek KFOR soldiers, were allegedly ordered by the Americans to stop the distribution of presents (containing the Serbian flag) by Kosovo Bishop Artemije, as the Albanians present at the occasion protested that this was frustrating for them. Other inconsistencies in international approach to the Kosovo crisis remain.
While the media does not fail to emphasise the estimation that 90 percent (around 1.9 million) of Albanians want independent Kosovo, not many focus on what the remaining 7.5 million people of Serbia want. There is a general feeling among even the younger Serbian generations that the country has paid enough for its Milosevic period; that it paid it back already by suffering economic sanctions, international isolation, extradition of almost all fugitives to the Hague tribunal, not to mention NATO bombing, scars of which are still visible. Kosovo price would lead Serbia to total political, economic and cultural “bankruptcy.”
In search of a compromised European solution for Kosovo this should not be undermined. Neither should be the basic European democratic values. Questioning the long-term consequences of a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo, there still is time for Europe to bring the sides closer by working towards realising their “mutual aspirations” which, though rare, still exist e.g. EU enlargement and this can help in crafting a “European Kosovo policy”.

6 Antworten

  1. Hello,
    I came across this post on my wordpress dashboard. I am very interested in the nature of Serbian claims to Kosovo and the role of Serbs still living in the province play in that claim. Do you have any contacts that would be willing to speak to a Ph.D. student?
    best,
    Ariel

  2. Ariel,

    I don’t want to rain on your parade but there were a couple of „clever“ Albanian who equally posed as „innocent – UNBIASED“ observers looking to „learn“ more about this issue. Rather than use any words I’ll let you read a map and conclude on your own. If you ever saw inside of any PhD program you have to be good at research. Start with this: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/maps/1360eur.jpg

  3. Corrections in the prior post Albanain should have been written in plural Albanians (because we know it is more than two, maybe not quite three or four or five but two at least) therefore AlbanianS

  4. Kindly allow me to present what I consider to be irrefutable
    evidence. Not that evidence of any kind matters any more, but this is pretty
    vital with regards to the Kosovo problem.
    1. The land deeds (mortgages are held by over 70% of the
    Serbians
    1a. The word Metohija is inseparable from Kosovo and it means
    „church possessions, lands, estates“ – there would never even, under any
    circumstances be a Muslim who is responsible for any positive input – short of
    burning those chruches and deleting the very existence of the same.
    2. If the Serbian (Yugoslav) army killed 2 million Albanians
    as it has been claimed how did this group of albanians escalate from 1.2 million
    before the KLA onset of hostilities to over 3.2 million Albanians. The answer is
    very simple these are not Kosovo born Albanians they are imports (tresspassors)
    transgressors. They have no rights to any part of the foreign country they came
    to visit or occupy.
    3. Kosovar Arnaut sources seem to like the figure of 94%
    Albanian Kosovars and only 6% Serbian minority. I am amazed at such accuracy
    considering that the Albanians have boykoted every census taking in the last 20
    years. What credible source do we have that thare are more than 1 million
    Kosovo born Albanians? None

    Iliya Pavlovich

  5. Stanislav,
    I’m not exactly sure what parade of mine you are raining on. I really am interested in Serbian claims to Kosovo. Have I written something to engender your hostility? Maybe I am missing something…
    Anyway, Illiya thank you for the points in your comment… all this information is new to me. if either of you are aware of any sources, particularly printed material or websites I should direct my attention to in this regard, I would greatly appreciate it!
    best wishes…
    -Ariel

  6. Where have you seen an ounce of hostility except towards Albanian encroachment on Serbian lands, if somebody took your wife and children and your house you’d proably be a little hostile as well – or would you invite them to take your mother and your sisters too? What exactly do you want to know about Kosovo?

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