Tag Archives: Serbia

Independence Day– Kosovo Style

A tense quiet holds in Kosovo as the nation initiates its independence from Serbia. NATO peacekeepers believe they have the situation under control. A recent study reveals people in Kosovo are among the most optimistic in the world regarding what the future holds. The feeling of optimism comes from having the support of the European Union even though Russia is violently against the action. The choice of Sunday, Februaryy 17, was intended to link with the meeting of 27 EU member states in hope there would be quick recognition of the event. There are 3,300 French troops stationed in northeastern Kosovo in case any action is taken by Serbians in that region to circumvent the independence process.

It is reported the Serbian army has agreed to observe a five-kilometer corridor to avoid any conflict with European Union forces. The original fear the northeast heavily Serbian area would break away and declare its independence from Kosovo apparently has disappeared. EU officials expect rhetoric to be present in Serbian comments about the Kosovo action, but there is little concern any form of violence will ensue. The EU intends to make certain ethnic rights of Serbians in the new nation of Kosovo are protected.

Kosovo Conflict Returns To The Fore

Kosovo is preapared to declare its independence this coming weekend, and the world awaits Russia’s response to this event. The Putin government is strongly supporting Serbian opposition to the formal breaking away of an area that once was part of initially Yugoslavia, and later, Serbia. A more confident Russia is prepared to throw its weight of power behind its ally. Russia can not halt independence, but it has blocked recognition of this event by the United Nations. A major source of conflict that is emerging is over control of the Serb majority city of Mitrovica which is located in the northern part of Kosovo.

In 1999, the Yeltsin government sent Russian troops to seize the major airport of Kosovo and they remained until President Clinton exerted pressure for their withdrawal. No Russian troops will appear at the main airport in the coming days, but Russia might well support a Serbian takeover of the city of Mitrovica. Putin might even order in Russian troops to assist the Serbians which, in effect, would lead to a partition of the new nation of Kosovo.

In reality, neither NATO nor the UN have ever been able to exert control of theMitrovica area and, most probably, will stand down from an armed clash if Serbian and Russian troops seize control of the city. In the real world, nations don’t always get everything they desire.

Serbia Moves Right And May Be Left Out Of EU

The continuing presence of Kosovo made a large impact on this week’s election in Serbia with right wing extremists gaining victory in round one of the vote. Nationalist Tomisla Nikolic came out ahead of pro-western incumbent Boris Tadic by a score of 39% to 35%. Tadic told the nation the vote was between walking on a road leading to Russia or venturing on the more significant road leading toward membership in the European Union. A central issue of the vote revolved around the future of Kosovo which intends to declare its independence in the coming months. Tadic is trapped in a Catch 22- he opposes immediate independence for Kosovo but also wants Serbia to enter the EU. The European Union is supporting Kosovo’s desire to be an independent nation. Nikolic favors close ties with Russia which has been supportive of efforts to prevent Kosovo independence.

Nikolic wll employ waving the red flag of defiance against Kosovo, but, at best, he can delay but he can not prevent the breakaway from taking place. Tadic is speaking reality, but in many such cases a demagogue will gain the initial victory although when it becomes apparent it was rhetoric, the reality of what must be done will become reality.

Kosovo Independence Creates Crisis In Europe

The desire for the Serbian province of Kosovo to become an independent nation became even stronger as an election drew near which would enable the people of Kosovo to make that decision. There is little doubt since Kosovo is 90% Muslim Albanian it will vote for independence from Christian Serbia which killed thousands during its drive to crush opposition in Kosovo to Serbian Christian rule. An election in Serbia also is caught in the middle of the conflict. Pro-Western Prime Minister Boris Tadic is pushing hard for membership in the European Union which is supported by 69% of all Serbians. His opponent, Tomislav Vikolic, who leads ultranationalist forces in Serbia that are ready to oppose Kosovo independence, is arguing for placing the unity of Serbia over the desire for EU membership.

Too much blood has past under the bridge for the Muslim people of Kosovo to ever again seek to be members of the same country with Serbians who killed thousands during their drive to impose Serbia’s will upon all sectors of the former nation of Yugoslavia. It is time for Kosovo to go its separate path. It might be beneficial if the European Union relaxed some demands on Serbia and expedited its application for membership in the EU.

European Union Plan To Handle Kosovo Independence

The inability of Kosovo and its former ruler, Serbia, to reach any form of agreement over future relations, will undoubtedly result sometime after January 1st in a declaration of independence by Kosovo. There are fears such an announcement will strengthen nationalist forces in Serbia which might even resort to violence in order to halt this step. Slovenia, which will assume presidency of the European Union, is proposing a plan of action to head off discord. Under its proposal, within 48 hours of Kosovo independence, a core group of European Union members such as Germany, France, Britain and France will recognize the new nation. Several weeks later, a second group including the United States would recognize Kosovo and finally several weeks later a third group comprising nations adjacent to Kosovo would give their OK to the new nation.

The reality is that about 100,000 Serbs remain in the predominantly Muslim nation. Neither side can put aside the terrible deaths inflicted by Serbian forces upon innocent Muslims and the retaliation of Kosovo toward Serbs in the province. Slovenia is attempting to establish a distance from the initial independence of Kosovo and its final reality. The plan is not perfect but it moves Kosovo forward. The European Union will most probably wait several months before discussing the possible entrance of Kosovo into the union. Perhaps, Serbia can also enter which might eventually lead toward some form of reconciliation.

Serbs Ready To Fight If Kosovo Becomes Independent

Kosovo, a Muslim area which has been part of Serbia until NATO and American forces intervened to prevent ethnic cleansing in the 1990s, is preparing to declare its independence and assume control over its own destiny. The vast majority of people in Kosovo are of Albanian Muslim background while about 100,000 are Serbian Christians. There are reports that thousands of Kosovo Serbians are prepared to flee to Serbia amidst fears they will be attacked once Kosovo is an independent nation. Although there are about 15,000 NATO troops in the nation, it is expected they will withdraw if the declaration of independence is issues this coming week. Serbian leaders warn the West that an independent Kosovo will anger their people and drive them into the arms of extreme nationalists who seek war with the new nation. They also point out Serbia will turn toward Putin’s Russia for support and end close relations with the European Union. A common statement heard on the streets of Serbia is that their nation is defending Europe against Muslim aggression.

Once rhetoric is cast aside, there is no evidence the Muslims of Kosovo have any connection with terrorism nor are they fundamentalist in feeling. They are moderate Muslims who do not adhere to the type of fundamentalism that is practiced in nations like America’s ally, Saudi Arabia. An independent Kosovo brings to the world another government in which moderate Muslims are in leadership and who can assist in the fight against radical fundamentalists.

Kosovo Stalemate- The Conflict Goes On

The European Union has been attempting for years to devise a compromise which would satisfy the desires for people in Kosovo to be independent while still ensuring the people of Serbia’s rights are respected. The effort has not worked and Kosovo will shortly announce its independence. EU mediator Wolfgang Ischinger has noted, ‘the report will conclude that the two sides have not been able to reach an agreement.” The Serbian province which has two million Albanians and about 100,000 Serbs will announce that it has decided to become an independent nation. There are fears the decision about independence will be announced in January and immediately result in violence as bands of Serbs challenge the new Albanian government. The UN tried to negotiate a supervised process of independence that would protect Serbian rights in Kosovo, but Russia blocked the move in the Security Council since it regards itself as the protector of Serbs.

Russia wants talks and negotiation to continue even though the evidence is overwhelming that further talks will simply prolong the inevitable decision that must eventually be accepted by the world. It is unclear what will happen once Kosovo becomes independent, particularly if violence ensues. Russia will undoubtedly support the Serbians and if the EU backs the Albanians, the potential for serious violence is possible.