Vladimir Putin Visits a Serbia on the Edge of Collapse: “Pro-Western” Belgrade Locked with Pristina in Race to the Bottom

Subject: Vladimir Putin Visits a Serbia on the Edge of Collapse: “Pro-Western”
Belgrade Locked with Pristina in Race to the Bottom (American Council for

Vladimir Putin Visits a Serbia on the Edge of Collapse:
“Pro-Western” Belgrade Locked with Pristina in Race to the Bottom


James George Jatras
Director, American Council for Kosovo
Washington, DC
March 31, 2011

Last week’s visit to Serbia by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putincould not
have come at a better time or – depending on how you look at it – at a worse

Mr. Putin came to a country that depends almost entirely on Russia for what’s
left of its international standing, especially defense of its sovereign rights
over the province of Kosovo and Metohija, occupied since 1999 by NATO and the EU
on behalf of the separatist Albanian Muslim administration in Pristina.   While
Serbs as a whole and most of the opposition sincerely value Russia’s steadfast
support, the current “yellow” government in power in Belgrade feigns friendship
while conducting a “pro-western” policy guided by the very powers that bombed
Serbia starting 12 years ago this month.

Meanwhile, the existing coalition in Belgrade counts on demoralization and
apathy amid the deepening gloom to maintain their hold on power:

Economy:  With unemployment topping 20 percent, annual inflation at 12 percent,
and a burgeoning foreign debt, the ruling coalition can only harp on the one
note they seem capable of sounding: that Serbia eventually – someday, somehow –
will be invited to join the European Union.   Aside from the fact the dangling
prospect of EU accession is reminiscent of the communist “radiant future” that
never managed to arrive, the question of how membership in a European Union that
is itself in deep crisiscan help Serbia is never explained.   Still, Mr. Putin
was barely out of the way before President Boris Tadic scurried to Brussels, the
yellows’ true North Star.  Instead of wasting time with the EU mirage, Serbia
needs to focus on cooperation with Russia on South Stream and other initiatives
that are on the table now.

Kosovo and Metohija:  While in Belgrade Mr. Putin once again stated Russia’s
full support for Serbia based on Resolution 1244, which affirms Serbia’s
sovereignty over Kosovo and Metohija and which, he noted, has not been
annulled.   With regard to direct talks between Belgrade and the terrorist cabal
based in Pristina, Mr. Putin said, “It is solely up to the people of Serbia to
decide on how to conduct their policies, any kind of negotiations are better
than conflicts and if required to do so, Russia would back the process.”  He
politely declined to note that Belgrade is in no way “required” to talk with the
criminals ensconced in Pristina and insists on doing so to please their western
sponsors.   Not even the erosionof the “KosovA” pseudo-state’s already meager
credibility in the wake of the accusations of organ-trafficking by “prime
minister” Hashim “Snake” Thaciwere reason to cancel negotiations that can only
lead to de facto, if not de jure, Serbian recognition.   In fact, President
Tadic specifically rejectedthe organ-harvesting allegations as grounds to call
off talks with Thaci or indeed “anyone whom Kosovo Albanians elect as their
legitimate[sic] representative.”  Thaci reportedly is afraid to travel abroad
for fear of arrest but no thanks to any action by Belgrade, which has not lifted
a finger to secure an Interpol “red notice” for Thaci’s apprehension – either
for the organ-harvesting murders committed by his KLA underlings or on an
outstanding warrant for terrorism and murder, which Serbian officials admit is
still in effect.   If prospects for talks collapse, it will be due not to any
stand of principle by Belgrade but to political disarray in Pristina, including
invalidation of the “presidency” of Behgjet Pacolliand the possible fall of
“Snake’s” coalition.  Meanwhile, shamefully, Belgrade will wait patiently at the
table for whoever the KLA-mafiaeventually decides to send to meet with them.

NATO:  With any further NATO expansion eastward dead in the water following the
election in Ukraine last year of an administration opposed to membership, the
alliance has shifted its focus to the country it bombed in violation of every
applicable legal standard: Serbia.   The Tadic government has responded with a
crafty ambiguity about its intentions, clearly designed to leave the door to
NATO membership open without quite saying so.  At the same time, Mr. Tadic says
Serbia “fully and genuinely supports Montenegro’s intention to become a NATO
member,” but added Serbia would remain neutral (at least for the time being, one
hastens to add).   He didn’t address how Montenegro’s joining NATO would
contribute to Serbia’s security, meaning that his country would be completely
surrounded by NATO states, with the probably temporary exceptions of
Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the latter of
which is kept out of the alliance only because of its dispute with Greece over
its name.  According to a WikiLeaked February 2010 cable from the U.S. Embassy
in Belgrade, “Tadic believes that Serbia cannot remain outside of NATO forever,
but doesn’t say this often because of the political sensitivity of the issue.”
In other words, as with Kosovo and Metohija, Mr. Tadic pays lip service to
Serbia’s position – in the case of NATO, the December 2007 National Assembly
Resolution on Military Neutrality – while in effect engaging with his U.S. and
European partners in a conspiracy against his own people.  Meanwhile Russia is
under no illusions what a NATO path for Serbia would mean.  “If Serbia joins
NATO, NATO will make all the decisions,” Putin has been quoted as saying. “If
NATO deploys its rocket systems in Serbia, Russia will be forced to direct its
nuclear potential towards Serbia.” In short, NATO accession for Serbia
immediately would jeopardize its national security by turning its staunchest
defender overnight into a potential adversary.

Political intimidation:  Unable to explain their failures, the ruling coalition
in Belgrade predictably resorts to character assassination and defamation of
their opponents.  Top of the list is the effort by prosecutors to try to
associate Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) leader Vojislav Kostunica with the
2003 assassination of then-prime minister Zoran Djindjic.  Mr. Kostunica
responds that he has already told everything he had to tell about the killing
and that he will not respond to summons for the interrogation: “The prosecution
knows that there are no grounds to interrogate me.”  DSS has responded with a
domestic and international petition campaignagainst the regime’s smear
tactics.   (Not coincidentally, the anti-Kostunica slanders coincide with DSS’s
launch of an anti-NATO membership campaign and a planned April demonstration to
commemorate the 1999 NATO bombing and the Nazi bombing of Belgrade during World
War II.   DSS, in addition to opposing Serbia’s NATO accession and to advocating
a non-aligned policy, similar to Ukraine, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Switzerland,
and other democratic states, promotes strong economic ties with Russia.   It is
hard to believe there is not a hidden hand of the U.S., NATO, and perhaps the EU
in the anti-Kostunica campaign.)  Also worthy of mention is Radical Party leader
Vojislav Seselj, held for eight years by the NATO-controlled International
Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia at The Hague.  (While of course, jihad
killers like Naser Oric, Ramush Haradinaj, Agim Ceku, and Hashim Thaci– whose
crimes are well known to their western sponsors – walk free.)  Disintegration of
the prosecution’s case against Seselj evidently is neither reason for his
release nor for Belgrade to question the further detention of a Serbian citizen
without justification.  From the perspective of the “pro-western” coalition,
however, what importance do details like evidence or national sovereignty have
compared to obeying diktats of their foreign patrons?

The Church:   Last but certainly not least, the quislings in Belgrade are aware
that no effort to degrade and demoralize Serbia can succeed without sowing
discord and contention within the mainstay of the nation’s spiritual life, the
Serbian Orthodox Church.  This means first and foremost the politically
motivated action forcibly to remove His Grace, Bishop Artemije– a pillar of
Orthodoxyand foremost defender of Serbia’s sovereignty over Kosovo and Metohija–
from tending his threatened flock in Kosovo and Metohija.   Let us remember, as
reported by Julia Gorin, that as far back as January 2010, at a regional
security meeting in Pec, “a KFOR officer informed the grouping that it was
likely that Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren would be replaced and a new
Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church would be installed in his place, one who
was open to cooperation with the West and more open to dialogue.”  That is also
why, when Vladika Artemije returned to his diocese after he was first physically
removed, he quickly was banished a second time by the joint “authority” of the
NATO occupation, the current regime in Belgrade, and the KLA mafia in Pristina –
and of course their collaborators inside the Church.  Nonetheless, despite such
provocations, Vladika Artemije categorically rejects any possibility of schism
in the Serbian Orthodox Church and demands, simply and without qualification,
that the canons of the Church be followed.  Stating his unwillingness to abide
by any uncanonical directives, heremains until the end of his life the Bishop of
the Eparchy of Ras and Prizren.  But instead of a reasonable and peaceful
response to Vladika Artemije’s witness, those seeking to remove him have
resorted to tactics worthy of Hashim Thaci and his minions, throwing Molotov
cocktails at the homes of monks loyal to their martyric archpastor.

In short, the two ruling cabals – in Belgrade under Tadic & Company and in the
separatist entity in Pristina under Thaci & Company – are locked in a bizarre
race to the bottom, in symbiotic obedience to the same foreign masters.   In the
case of the separatist entity based in Pristina, “bottom” means the final
stripping away of the threadbare pretense of being a state in any normal sense
of the word.  At this point, the main relevant question is not which countries
might still make the mistake of recognizing the KLA terrorist fiefdom but which
of the countries that were duped into doing so will be the first to withdraw its
recognition – a process, once begun, that will trigger a “run” on the bank of
Pristina’s vanishing credit.   In eerie parallel, the “bottom” for Serbia means
the current regime’s managing to hang onto power long enough to complete its
betrayal of Serbia’s sovereignty, finish off what’s left the country’s economy,
and undermine any points of political and spiritual resistance.  It remains to
be seen if either “pro-western” cabal can get away with it.

Now available from The American Council for Kosovo!

The Score

The American Council for Kosovorecently has located additional quantities of
this classic book, published on the tenth anniversary of the NATO aggression
against Serbia.    Kosovo: The Score provides the definitive explanation of the
little-understood Whys and Hows of the Kosovo war, as well as of the aftermath
that still plagues the region – and the world – today.

Among the experts contributing incisive analyses to Kosovo: The Score:

James Bissett
Doug Bandow
James George Jatras
Julia Gorin
Srdja Trifkovic
Diana Johnstone
Gregory R. Copley
. . . and many others!

Kosovo: The Scoreis available on request from The American Council for Kosovo,
which gratefully welcomes contributions of any size.  Book requests can be made
on the contribution page, by email, or by writing to:

The American Council for Kosovo
P.O. Box 14522
Washington, DC 20044

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