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.