Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

19 February 2008 Kosovo Digest

Prime Minister Kostunica addresses the Parliament yesterday

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Parliament confirms Decision to annul the illegal acts pertaining to Kosovo-Metohija’s unilateral declaration of independence

The Serbian parliament confirmed tonight a government decision to annul the illegal acts of the interim self-governing organs in Kosovo-Metohija pertaining to the unilateral declaration of independence by the Kosovar Albanians. The session was summoned according to the emergency procedure. Also present at the session were Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic and the majority of ministers, as well as 234 parliament members, of which 225 voted for the decision. The text of the decision to annul Kosovo’s independence is available at the Government’s web-site:

http://www.srbija.sr.gov.yu/kosovo-metohija/index.php?id=43159

18 Feb 2008

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Prayer in front of St Sava Cathedral in Belgrade

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Prayer for the Salvation of the Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija

A service of prayer for the salvation of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija in view of the current situation in our southern province was offered at the Memorial Church of Saint Sava at the Vracar Plateau. His Eminence Amfilohije Radovic, Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Primorie, in the name of His Holiness Pavle, Patriarch of all Serbia, celebrated the service of prayer. Several diocesan bishops from Serbia and abroad, with members of the clergy and deacons from other Belgrade churches, as well as the St Sava church choir “Mokranjac”, assisted Valdyki Amfilohije in the service. The service of prayer was officiated at the entrance to the Memorial Church in front of the icon of the Mother of God “Queen of the Heavens… Grateful Heavens”, which was a present from the Russian Orthodox Church as a sign of support to the suffering Serbian people of Kosovo and Metohija. Metropolitan Amfilohije called upon the people to turn to the Lord in prayer so He may strengthen us in our faith and love and to preserve our people in Kosovo and Metohija. He also addressed the Western countries, inviting them to think twice about the repercussions of the decisions they are about to take on Kosovo and Metohija. He made a special appeal to the Vatican, hoping that it, as a centre of western Christianity, would prevent the destruction of Kosovo. Metropolitan Amfilohije called upon the participants of last night’s riots not to be destructive in their justified revolt, but rather to protest peacefully and with dignity.

People present at the molieben in front of the Cathedral

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H.H. Prince Alexander II Karadjordjevic also addressed the people present. He had just returned from a visit to the Serbian parts of the province. The apostolic nuncio to Serbia, Most Rev Eugeinio Sbarbaro, also attended the service of prayer in the name of the Roman Catholic Church, while Rev Vitaly Tarassev, the chief representative of the Moscow Patriachate, also assisted. The Minister for Kosovo and Metohija, Prof Samardzic, and the Minister of Religion, Mr Radomir Naumov, represented the government. The participants of today’s student protest joined hundreds of Belgrade citizens.

19 February 2008

Information service of the SOC

www.spc.yu/eng/

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Tadić tells UN Security Council to annul Kosovo declaration

The UN Security Council met yesterday in New York for another session on Kosovo. The meeting ended after several hours of debate without any conclusions adopted, with the council split on the issue of the Kosovo Albanians’ declaration of unilateral secession. The US, France, and Great Britain all announced that they recognise such declaration, while Russia and China condemned and opposed it. President Boris Tadić was also in New York to request an urgent annulment of the unilateral and illegal act of the secession of Kosovo. Mr Tadić added that Serbia will take all necessary political and diplomatic measures to prevent the secession of any part of its territory, Beta news agency said. Furthermore, Mr Tadić stressed that Serbia will never recognise the independence of Kosovo and Metohija and warned the international community that the recognition of that independence would be a precedent with unforeseeable consequences. “Countries that opt to recognise the independence of Kosovo will assume the responsibility for a possible new ethnic cleansing of the Serbs who have remained in Kosovo and Metohija”, Mr Tadić stressed, and added that all ethnic Albanians who were in Kosovo in 1999 are still there, while more than 250,000 Serbs have since been driven from their homes and are unable to return.

In the name of Serbia, Mr Tadić requested the Security Council to “uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, which includes Kosovo”, and “to take effective measures toward ensuring full respect for all provisions of the UN Charter and Resolution 1244”. Mr Tadić requested UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his special envoy in Kosovo Joachim Rücker to “use their authorities and proclaim null and void the act of Kosovo’s independence and to disband the Kosovo Assembly,” because, as the president explained, “The declaration of independence is in violation of Resolution 1244”. “The granting of independence would reward those who have, at the start of the 21st century, created Serb ghettos in Europe, protected by barbed wire, surrounded by tanks and soldiers armed to the teeth. The reward is coming for those who took part in the segregation of Serbs and those who deny them the right of free movement, those who force them to live in darkness and constant fear for their lives”, Mr Tadić said of the Kosovo Albanians. He also warned that anyone who supported this outcome must be aware that the act legalises the use of violence as a means to create new states and fulfil political interests. “If you allow this illegal act to become reality, you’ll show the world that right and justice need not be respected. You’ll show the world that this body, the UN, is, unfortunately, losing its authority”, the president said. Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, who expressed strong support for Serbia, supported his address. Mr Churkin repeated the request to annul the declaration and said the Kosovo Albanians’ move was a dangerous precedent. “This illegal act by the Kosovo Albanian leadership and those who support them has set a dangerous precedent that threatens to escalate tension and violence in the province and jeopardise the foundations of international relations”, he told the council ambassadors. Mr Churkin confirmed that his country recognises the Republic of Serbia and its internationally recognised borders, whilst Kosovo’s declaration of secession was a flagrant breach of international law, above all the UN Charter, that undermined the foundations of international relations, he said. “We believe that Resolution 1244 is fully valid and that UNMIK chief Joachim Rücker must continue to perform his duties in line with that”, the Russian diplomat stressed. “We insist that, in order to implement this, we must restore the circumstances that existed in Kosovo before the illegally undertaken steps were taken”, he added. Mr Churkin also warned that NATO’s troops in the province, KFOR, “must strictly adhere to their mandate and Resolution 1244”. The UN Secretary-General also addressed the session, to say that the Kosovo Albanians’ decision will have “operative implications for UNMIK”, but that the UN’s Kosovo mission “will continue to implement 1244”.

19 February 2008

B92/Beta

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Serbs say they will never recognise Kosovo’s independence. Protest of Kosovo Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica in northern Kosovo

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Kosovo: Serbs protest in north, reject declaration:

Serbs yesterday organised peaceful protests in Kosovska Mitrovica and Gračanica.

They demonstrated in the main square of Kosovska Mitrovica yesterday, rejecting the creation of an independent Kosovo on Serbian territory. With a symbolic raising of their hands, Serbs rejected the decision of the Kosovo Albanian parliament to create a quasi-Albanian state in the Balkans. Marko Jakšić, President of the Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo, said that Serbia and Serbs are against the creation of a new Albanian state in the Balkans and stressed, “Those who believe that such a state was created on 17 February are fooling themselves”. Mr Jakšić said that it was actually “the beginning of connecting Kosovo into the soul of Serbia”. He reminded his listeners that 200,000 Serbs and non-Albanians left Kosovo when international forces entered the province eight years ago. Mr Jakšić’s address of the crowd was halted several times with the people chanting “Murderers”, “We’ll not give up Kosovo”, “Russia” and “Kosovo’s the heart of Serbia”. “As long as there’s a united Serbia and Russia, there will never be an independent Kosovo”, Mr Jakšić said, condemning the announced arrival of the European Union’s mission to the province. He said that the arrival of the mission is illegal and violates international standards, calling the EU’s leaders “occupiers”. Mr Jakšić called on Serbs to boycott the EU mission, and to refuse to cooperate with it, adding that EU leaders “are offering people many things in exchange for their homeland”. He called on Belgrade to refrain from signing any agreements with Brussels, because that would mean they indirectly accepted occupation with the arrival of the EU mission in Kosovo. The protest began with the playing of Serbia’s national anthem “God of Justice”, and ended with a walk to the bridge with divides the Serb and Albanian parts of Kosovska Mitrovica. The protest ended without incident and without the presence of international police forces.

Protests of Kosovo Serbs were held in all Kosovo Serb areas yesterday with a clear message… “NO! to an illegally proclaimed state”…

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In Gračanica, some 2,000 Serbs protested in front of the medieval Serb Orthodox monastery there against the unilateral proclamation of Kosovo’s independence. Bishop Artemije of the Diocese of Raško-Prizrenska told the crowd that no unilateral act could take away Kosovo from Serbia as long as Serbs live in the province, calling on the Serb minority to stay in their homes. Zvonimir Stević, a Serbian lawmaker from Kosovo, said that the state must help Serbs in Kosovo, adding that ministers will continue to visit the province. “We’ll ask the UN Security Council to secure full safety for Serbs and Belgrade to give us its plan for our survival”, he said. There were large numbers of police around the roads leading to Gračanica during the protest.

19 February 2008

B92/Beta

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Protest of Serbs in Gracanica, 18 February 2008

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Kosovo: Turmoil in north, KFOR tries to block Leposavić

An administrative checkpoint near Kosovska Mitrovica was blown up this morning, it has been confirmed. Local KIM radio says that the Jarinje point near the town, as well as Brnjak near Zubin Potok, were mined and then blown up. Both are crossing points on Serbia’s administrative line with Kosovo. Reports added that “several thousand Serbs in this way protested the ethnic Albanians’ unilateral declaration of independence”. A dozen Kosovo police vehicles were also set on fire, KIM reports. None of the officials or policemen employed at the checkpoints were hurt. A Serbian state flag was also hoisted at the crossing. KFOR and UMNIK blocked all access roads to Leposavić, also a town on the administrative boundary, with their vehicles. KFOR then used bulldozers to push soil onto the roads to physically block them. However, Serbs, who previously set Jarinja checkpoint on fire, also used bulldozers to clear the roadblock. Soldiers then stepped aside, so that no incidents occurred. The nearby KFOR Camp Notting Hill is secured by around ten armoured vehicles, while helicopters fly over Leposavić. Beta news agency learned from Slaviša Ristić, the mayor of Zubin Potok, that the protests ended after 13.00 CET. He also explained the cause of the riots. Namely, local Serbs learned previously during the day that Albanian customs officers were coming to take over the boundary checkpoint, which caused their anger. He confirmed that checkpoints were burned, but said the protesters did not clash with KFOR. “KFOR has every right to be there according to Resolution 1244 and we have no problem with KFOR. However, if they once again try to impose some sort of institutions of a fake state, the citizens will certainly react once again”, Mr Ristić warned.

Protests against illegal proclamation of Kosovo’s independence were held in Belgrade and many other Serbian cities yesterday. Massive protests organised by Kostunica-Tadic-Nikolic announced for Thursday

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He appealed to UNMIK and KFOR to protect the Kosovo Serbs from the Priština authorities and to preserve peace in the province. A Kosovo police, KPS, spokesman said, “Serbs burned down one border post, and attacked a second”. Kosovo police manning the posts called for help from the NATO force, KFOR, which said it was stepping in, Reuters said. “Protesters destroyed the border crossing post at Gate 1 in Jarinje”, a Kosovo police spokesman said. “No one was injured”. Serbs also attacked a second post near Zubin Potok, he said. Police took shelter in a tunnel there as more than 1,000 protesters tried to tear it down, Kosovo police sources said. “We asked NATO to send a helicopter to evacuate our officers”, a police source told Reuters in Priština. “We are inches from partition”, a Western official was also quoted by the agency. He said he believed it was “only a matter of time before KFOR closes the bridges” that cross the River Ibar in the flashpoint city of Kosovska Mitrovica, dividing Kosovo Serbs from Albanians.

A spokesman for the EU’s International Civilian Office, whose Dutch leader Pieter Feith is expected in Kosovo any day, said there was no plan to withdraw a small advance EU team from the north side of Kosovska Mitrovica. “They’d stay on and carry out their mandate”, he told Reuters. The Kosovo police say that there are no incidents in other parts of the province. This comes after three explosions rattled the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica and Zvečan last night. No one was injured in the incidents. A Kosovo police spokesman confirmed that the blasts took place, one at the OSCE mission offices in Kosovska Mitrovica, that caused minor damage to the building and vehicles parked outside. The second explosion took place in another Serb town in the northern part of the province, Zvečan, when unknown perpetrators set two UN vehicles on fire. The third incident took place in northern Kosovska Mitrovica in the neighborhood of Bošnjačka Mahala, when a device exploded in a yard, causing damage to a house, a garage, and a private car. Unlike in the southern part of the town which is ethnic Albanian, the northern part, although predominantly Serb, also has Albanian and Bosniak residents, mostly in the Mahala area. However, a Serb house was damaged, while the garage and the car belong to an Albanian, reports say.

19 February 2008

B92/Beta/Reuters/Tanjug

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This is why Afghanistan was the first country to recognise Kosovo… US occupation troops in Afghanistan burning the bodies of dead Taliban fighters… the Karzai junta is nothing but a puppet of Foggy Bottom

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Afghanistan first recognises Kosovo’s independence

On Monday, Afghanistan recognised Kosovo’s independence, a top government official said. “We support the determination of the people and recognize Kosovo’s independence”, said Sultan Ahmad Baheen, a spokesman for Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry. Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leadership announced on Sunday its independence from Serbia. On Monday, Kosovo’s leaders sent letters to 192 countries seeking formal recognition of independence.

18 February 2008

Associated Press

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China and Russia each have a veto on the UN Security Council… it’s why that Albanian gangster statelet will never be seated at the UN

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Global rift over Kosovo widens

The US, Australia, and the EU’s largest members quickly recognised Kosovo as an independent nation, widening a split with Russia, China, and some EU members strongly opposed to letting the territory break away from Serbia. The rift was on view at the UN Security Council on the second day of an emergency session to discuss the declaration of independence Sunday by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority. The council meeting ended Monday without agreement on a resolution or joint statement, reflecting the deep divisions among the five veto-wielding permanent members. Ethnic Serbs rallying in northern Kosovo angrily denounced the United States and urged Russia to help Serbia hold on to the territory that Serbs consider the birthplace of their civilisation. Protesters also marched in Serbia’s capital, and that nation recalled its ambassador to the US to protest American recognition for an independent Kosovo. Despite clamouring of Serbs to retake Kosovo, Serbia’s government has ruled out a military response. However, the dispute is likely to worsen already strained relations between the West and Russia, which is a traditional ally of Serbia and is seeking to restore its influence in former Soviet bloc states. The Kremlin could become less likely to help in international efforts important to the US and its allies, such as pressuring Iran to rein in its nuclear program. Still, for Washington the declaration of independence by Kosovo vindicated years of dogged effort to help a land achieve its dream of self-determination after years of ethnic conflict and repression by Serbia.

Speaking in Tanzania, US President George W. Bush declared, “The Kosovars are now independent”, and Washington formally recognised Kosovo as an independent country soon afterward. Germany, Britain, and France also gave their heavyweight backing, saying they planned to issue formal recognitions. Despite Russian opposition, Mr Bush, speaking just before departing for Rwanda on Tuesday, said he believed “history will prove this to be the correct move”. Asked about timing of the declaration and whether there was any effort to smooth things over with Russia, Bush said, “We worked with the European nations. This strategy was well-planned”. Kosovo’s prime minister thanked Washington for its support. “Thank you President Bush, thank you American government and American people. The people of Kosovo will be always grateful to you”, Hashim Thaci told reporters in Pristina shortly after meeting representatives of France, Britain, the US, and Turkey.

However, Russia, Serbia’s key ally, and emerging global power China remained adamantly opposed to Kosovo’s independence, warning of the danger of inspiring separatist movements around the world, including in their own sprawling territories. As veto-wielding Security Council members, Russia and China both have the power to block any attempt by Kosovo to gain a seat on the international body. Serbia vowed to fight to the end against any UN recognition. “The so-called Kosovo state will never be a member of the United Nations. Serbia will use all diplomatic means at its disposal to block Kosovo’s recognition”, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said. The Kremlin was already working diplomatic levers to help Serbia achieve that aim. Aleksandr Botsan-Kharchenko, Russia’s special envoy to the Balkans, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying Moscow expected UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to abide by a Security Council resolution that recognised Kosovo as part of Serbia.

Mr Ban opened Monday’s Security Council session by citing the many peaceful celebrations that accompanied Kosovo’s declaration, but also noting scattered violence. He said the United Nations had achieved “peace consolidation and the establishment of functional self-government” in Kosovo, including five successful elections. “Kosovo has made considerable progress through the years”, he said. Serbian President Boris Tadic, who attended the U.N. meeting, urged the council to oppose Kosovo’s move. “This act annuls international law, tramples upon justice, and enthrones injustice”, he said. Serbia recalled its ambassador to Washington in protest of US recognition for Kosovo, but said it was not severing diplomatic ties. It also ordered its ambassadors to France and Turkey to return to the country. Belgrade was also expected to withdraw envoys to Britain, Germany, and other nations that formally recognise Kosovo as a new state. “America and the European Union are stealing Kosovo from us, everyone must realise that”, said Tomislav Nikolic, the head of Serbia’s ultra-nationalist Radical Party.

After an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels, Britain, Germany, and France said they would quickly give recognition to Kosovo, a move that would be followed in the days ahead by most of the bloc’s other 24 member states, officials said. The EU doesn’t recognise nations, leaving that up to its individual members, and Spain, Greece, Romania, and Cyprus have criticised the effort to make Kosovo independent. Despite that divide, the EU foreign ministers issued a joint statement citing “the conflict of the 1990s” in Kosovo as a justification for the independence declaration. Australia and Afghanistan formally recognised Kosovo as an independent state on Tuesday. However, Indonesia joined China in expressing reservations about Kosovo’s unilateral declaration. The US and its NATO allies intervened with an air campaign against Serbia in 1999 to end a brutal crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists that had killed 10,000 people. The territory had been under UN and NATO administration since then, although formally remaining part of Serbia. Seeking to address the concerns of Russia and others about a free Kosovo, the foreign ministers stressed that Kosovo should be an exception to the international rule that national borders can be changed only if all parties agree.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has argued that independence without UN approval sets a dangerous precedent for the former Soviet Union, where separatists in Russia’s Chechnya region and two areas of Georgia are agitating for independence. Russian officials hinted last week that if Kosovo declared independence it might retaliate by recognising the independence claims of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two Russian-supported provinces in Georgia. Russia’s parliament repeated the threat Monday. On Monday, Kosovo independence took centre stage in China’s diplomatic jousting with Taiwan, which has been self-governing since the Chinese civil war in 1949 but which the Beijing regime considers to still be part of China. China’s Foreign Ministry criticised Taiwan for welcoming Kosovo’s independence, saying the island’s government didn’t meet the criteria for recognising other countries. “It’s known to all that Taiwan, as a part of China, has no right and qualification at all to make the so-called recognition”, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in a statement posted on the ministry’s website. China has good ties with Serbia and expressed “deep concern” over Kosovo’s independence declaration. For Beijing, the announcement conjures up one of its greatest fears… that Taiwan could some day make a similar declaration, something China says it would meet with military force. Chinese leaders also worry about separatist sentiments in the heavily Muslim regions of western China.

Spain, which has battled a violent Basque separatist movement for decades, was the biggest EU nation to oppose Kosovo independence. Greece, Romania, and Cyprus also are against Kosovo’s new status. In Bucharest, Romanian President Traian Basescu called Kosovo’s declaration “an illegal act”, a position rooted in Romania’s traditional close ties with Serbia. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband defended the move by Kosovo’s Albanians, saying the EU was keen to close the book on “two decades of violence and conflict and strife” in the western Balkans. There’s a very strong head of steam building among a wide range of EU countries that do see this as the piece of the Yugoslav jigsaw and don’t see stability in the western Balkans being established without the aspirations of the Kosovar people being respected”, he said.

19 February 2008

Robert Wielaard

Associated Press

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Graffiti for the Basque separatist terrorist group ETA… it’s why Spain will NEVER recognise the Albanian thugs in Kosovo

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EU still divided on legality of Kosovo’s status:

Serbia grateful to Spain for respecting international law

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Bozidar Djelic met today with Spanish Ambassador to Belgrade Jose Riera Siquier and expressed gratitude on behalf of the Serbian government for Spain’s principled and resolute stance not to recognise the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo-Metohija. The Deputy Prime Minister stressed that Serbia opposes any violence and that it’ll use all available diplomatic and legal means to protect its legitimate state interests. Siquier and Djelic concluded that there’s interest on both sides to increase trade between the two countries, especially in the areas of infrastructure, energy, and telecommunications.

19 February 2008

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Romania closes office in Priština

Bran Castle in Transylvania… this is why Romania will NEVER recognise the Albanian terrorists in Kosovo… it would provide a pretext for the Magyar minority, you see.

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Romania will close down its diplomatic office in Pristine, President Traian Basescu said today. The move comes since Romania refuses to recognise the unilateral declaration of independence by Serbia’s province of Kosovo, Mr Basescu explained. Mr Basescu said that Romania won’t interfere in the development of Kosovo’s institutions and that the presence of Romanian Gendarmerie in the province is covered by the UN resolution, Rompress reported. Romania is engaged only in keeping public order, said Mr Basescu. Late on Monday, Romania’s Parliament confirmed the government decision not to recognise the unilaterally declaration of independence of Kosovo. 357 members of the parliament and senators backed the Declaration, while 27 MPs of the Democratic Union of Hungarians voted against it. Hungarians request Romania to recognise independence of Kosovo and believe that Kosovo is a “good precedent for Hungarians making up the majority of the population in some areas of Romania to achieve territorial autonomy”, according to news agency reports.

19 February 2008

Tanjug

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Foreign Minister Jeremic: The independence of Kosovo is an illegal act against international law which will destabilise the region

OSCE, EU, UNSC, and Council of Europe are without consensus regarding Kosovo’s independence: recognitions of the new state only by individual countries

Serbian Foreign Minister Jeremic addressed the Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe on the occasion of the illegal proclamation of Kosovo’s independence:

Mr Chairman,

Distinguished Members of the Permanent Council,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank you for having convened this emergency session of the Permanent Council. What has been dreaded has come to pass… the unilateral and illegal declaration of independence of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of our southern province of Kosovo and Metohija from the Republic of Serbia. This grave threat to the security of Europe must be addressed, for the principles of the OSCE have been shaken to their very foundation. However, there’s still time to prevent the situation from spiralling needlessly out of control. We call on this body to condemn the unilateral and illegal declaration of independence by the authorities in Pristina from the Republic of Serbia, by reaffirming the OSCE’s basic principles and values, as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe, and the Charter for European Security. The participating States must do their duty. We must remain steadfast in upholding the very principles that have brought unimaginable prosperity to the lives of hundreds of millions of Europeans living in an unprecedented era of peace and security. How we react to this flagrant violation of the core norms of international conduct will determine the future course not only of this organisation, but also for the enduring strength of the values we have pledged to uphold and defend… universal values that were first enshrined into law by the United Nations Charter, before being enriched by the Helsinki Final Act and the other core documents of our Organisation.

Permit me, therefore, Mr Chairman, to begin with a summary of the points the Republic of Serbia made to the Security Council of the United Nations, the body charged with the primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security.

  1. Security Council Resolution 1244, as well as our Constitution, unambiguously reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, including our southern province of Kosovo. Its language explicitly places a Chapter VII obligation, a binding obligation, on all member-states to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Serbia, consistent with the first principle of the United Nations Charter… the sovereign equality of states.
  2. We have called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to instruct his Special Representative to our southern province to make swift and full use of his reserved powers, as enumerated in the Constitutional Framework for Provisional Self-Government in Kosovo, by proclaiming this illegitimate declaration of independence null and void. He must also be instructed to dissolve the Kosovo Assembly on the grounds that declaring independence isn’t in conformity with Resolution 1244.
  3. The Republic of Serbia has called on KFOR to remain status-neutral. Only by continuing to abide by the legal framework of its operation, namely paragraph 9 of Resolution 1244, can KFOR retain its capacity to prevent a repeat of the ethnic cleansing against the Serbian population, and the cultural cleansing against our nation’s holy sites, that took place in the latter half of 1999 and during the carefully orchestrated pogrom of March 2004.
  4. And four, Mr Chairman, we’ve welcomed, as a matter of principle, any demonstration of the European Union’s deepening commitment to the Western Balkans. And, for that reason, we welcome the EU’s desire to increase its presence in our southern province. But, it’s the position of the Republic of Serbia that such a mission must seek a mandate from the Security Council, as a plain reading of paragraphs 5 and 19 of Resolution 1244 makes clear. Only such a mandate can bestow an EU mission with the international legitimacy so crucial to the fulfilment of its tasks… one of which is, ironically, the establishment of the rule of law.

The tasks of that mission, Mr Chairman, will indeed be many. Kosovo today is the most dysfunctional entity in the OSCE space. Little tangible progress has been achieved, despite the billions of euros that have been invested in its development. In other words, Kosovo has not come close to achieving the standards of good-governance that ought to have remained a pre-qualification for the commencement of the process to determine future status. For, rather than focusing on the very hard work of improving the lives of all its residents, the authorities in Pristina have chosen instead to destabilise the region. Instead of building bridges, they’ve opted to widen and deepen the chasm. The authorities in Pristina have, in short, made an irresponsible decision to pursue the nihilistic politics of alienation, instead of a progressive politics of concord.

Mr Chairman,

The abject failure of the Kosovo Albanians to embrace the 21st-century principles of Europe… such as compromise, concession, and consensus-building… have produced a precedent that will create very troubling consequences to the stability of the international system and the community of democracies that is the OSCE. The precedent to which I refer is five-fold. First, it legitimises the doctrine of imposing solutions to ethnic conflicts. Second, it legitimises the act of unilateral secession by a provincial or local entity. Third, it transforms the right to self-determination into a right to independence. Fourth, it legitimises the forced partition of internationally-recognised, sovereign states. And fifth, it violates the commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes in Europe. All told, the declaration of independence by the Kosovo Albanians from the Republic of Serbia, if left unchecked, would constitute a fundamental attack on the sovereign equality of states, and it would resurrect the discredited Cold War doctrine of limited sovereignty. It would restore the dangerous view that the wilful exercise of might triumphs over the steady application of the law by all. There’d be no room for justice in such a worldview. And, there’d be no room left for any other clause of the Helsinki Final Act to have standing, were we to draw an equivalence between the right of self-determination and the right to secession. For we, the participating States, would be saying, in effect, the first principle of the OSCE would, in fact, be the right to secession. Everything else… all the other clauses, all of Helsinki’s enumerated rights, are secondary. Let me be clear, Mr Chairman. The Republic of Serbia holds that the Helsinki Final Act, the Charter of Paris, and the Charter for European Security constitute a binding code of conduct on the participating States and their governments. Our adherence to the principles enumerated therein forms the basis of security and cooperation in Europe. As such, we must act on the courage of our convictions, condemn the unilateral declaration of independence by the Kosovo Albanians, and make sure that Kosovo is not granted a seat at the OSCE table. Anything less would roll the dice on the continuing relevance of this Organisation.

Mr Chairman,

The Republic of Serbia believes in the principles of this Organisation and those of the United Nations. We believe in them because we believe in the cohesive strength of the international community, because we believe that the ultimate legitimacy of outcomes can be conferred only through the United Nations, and because we believe in the legitimacy of the OSCE process for solving disputes peacefully, in agreement with one another. And, that’s why the Republic of Serbia sees, in the far horizon, a flickering beacon of hope that signifies “justice can still prevail”. Born of the determination that we’re in the right… and armed with the fortitude of a unified nation… a commitment to justice compels us to hope… but equally to demand… that a negotiated solution be found. That a way to address the legitimate cause of distress of the Kosovo Albanians can be put alongside the preservation of a Serbia whole and free, fully integrated into Europe, and actively engaged with the world. This is the basic tenet of our national interest. It will not change. And, we’ll pursue it for as long as Serbia itself remains.

We’ll pursue it by seeking to negotiate with the Kosovo Albanians. We’re ready, at any time, in any place, in any manner, to engage in talks with the authorities in Pristina and agree on a mutually-acceptable solution to the future status of our southern province. And, we’re ready to do so without pre-condition, save one… the same one each and every participating state in the OSCE would attach to talks with a secessionist entity. That condition is sovereignty. We can give them substantial self-government… the broadest possible autonomy one can imagine. We can guarantee that we won’t tax them and that we won’t police them. Their judicial and educational systems don’t have to be re-integrated into ours. Our currency doesn’t have to have a presence in Kosovo. Our military wouldn’t have to be there, either. And we wouldn’t interfere with their relationship with the World Bank; with them having separate membership in international sporting federations; or with them having some sort of representation abroad.

However, we can’t give them sovereignty. No country can relinquish the ultimate basis of its legitimacy. For us, Kosovo stands at the crucible of our identity; it’s the essential link between our past and our future; it’s what ties the living tradition of Serbia to itself today. And, when the past is asked to no longer illuminate the future, the nation is in effect being asked to walk into the darkness of humanity. I appeal to all the countries here present, and to the authorities in Pristina, to understand the spirit in which I make these remarks. We can’t afford any more missed opportunities to build trust, to seek agreement, to consolidate values, and to arrive at a solution that benefits us all. We’re ready to do our part… to channel the hope, to remove the fear, and to instil the confidence in ourselves necessary to succeed in the noble project to secure the future against those who challenge its very foundation.

Mr Chairman,

Kosovo has unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia, in contravention of the United Nations Charter, Security Council Resolution 1244, and the Helsinki Final Act. If this violation of the very nature of the international system isn’t wrong, then, nothing’s wrong. We all know this in our hearts. And knowing this fact… this universal truth… some have chosen to ignore it. Some will embrace the failure of reason and reject the binding commitment to seek the peaceful resolution of disputes with the agreement of all its stakeholders. Some will seek to impose an outcome that flies in the face of the values that bring us together in this chamber, one that calls into question the very legitimacy of the work we do here. The Republic of Serbia won’t accept responsibility for this shameful failure. History will judge those who’ve chosen to trample on the bedrock of the international system, and on the principles upon which security and cooperation in Europe have been established. They’ll have to give an account as to why they attempted to construct a future on a foundation of sand and rubble. The Republic of Serbia didn’t consent, hasn’t consented, and won’t consent. For Kosovo and Metohija shall remain a part of Serbia forever.

Mr Chairman,

In the Book of Proverbs, we see written, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a picture of silver”. For the Republic of Serbia, the first principles of the international community enumerated in the United Nations Charter have proven to be an apple of gold to the world. And, for Europe, the Helsinki Final Act is the picture of silver, subsequently framed around it. Membership in these two organisations is the ultimate test of sovereignty. Membership in these two standard-bearers… these two great pillars… of the international system, signifies belonging to the world community of sovereign nations. The Republic of Serbia is one such nation. And, Kosovo will never be such. It will never acquire this ultimate status of legitimacy. Membership will always elude it. Consent will never be given. Kosovo shall remain a part of Serbia forever.

Thank you for your attention.

19 February 2008

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Here is KFOR’s “impartiality” in action… Albanian thugs destroyed this church… see how they took special care in desecrating the altar area. THIS is what godless America does throughout the world… reflect well on that.

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North Atlantic Council Does Not Mention Kosovo’s Independence and Remains Faithful to UN Security Council Resolution 1244

NAC Statement after Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence

Following Kosovo’s declaration of independence yesterday, NATO affirms that KFOR shall remain in Kosovo on the basis of UNSCR 1244, as agreed by Foreign Ministers in December 2007, unless the UN Security Council decides otherwise. NATO’s responsibility and capability to ensure a safe and secure environment in Kosovo remain unchanged. KFOR will continue to execute this mandate in an impartial manner in accordance with its Operational Plan. NATO will respond resolutely to any attempts to disrupt the safety and security of the population of Kosovo. NATO continues to attach great importance to the implementation of standards in Kosovo, especially regarding the rule of law, the protection of ethnic minorities and communities, as well as the protection of historical and religious sites. NATO’s objective is to continue helping in the development of a stable, democratic, multi-ethnic and peaceful Kosovo. As Foreign Ministers also agreed in December 2007, NATO will continue to cooperate closely with the population of Kosovo, the United Nations, the European Union, and other international actors wherever appropriate.

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www.kosovo.net

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Fr Daniil Sysoyev Reports that there have been Threats of Violence Delivered to his Home

Fr Daniil Sysoyev, the rector of St Thomas the Apostle parish in the Kantemirov district in Moscow, reports that he has received threats of physical violence in response to his missionary activity amongst Muslims. “This Saturday is my anniversary, yet, I have received ten threats via e-mail that I shall have my head cut off (if I do not stop preaching to Muslims). As I see it, it is a sin not to preach to Muslims, for I am half-Russian and half-Tartar myself”, he stated on a television programme on the Ren-TV channel. Fr Daniil has organised weekly missionary courses in his parish (oriented towards Muslims).

Recently, the Muslim journalist Khalida Khamidullina filed a suit against Fr Daniil in court. She claims that the statements made by Fr Daniil in his books, articles, and public appearances concerning Islam are in violation of the law “in opposition to extremism”, and she demands that he be imprisoned for them. In spite of this impending court action and the threats he has received, Fr Daniil is not going to curtail or modify his missionary activity (amongst Muslims). On the contrary, he announced he shall hold an additional collection for his missionary school. He intends to preach to everyone, including the merchants in the marketplace and the guest workers on the construction sites. Today, there is not just one student of this preacher-priest on the streets, but twenty. Until recently, some of them were found in synagogues, mosques, and sectarian chapels, Ren-TV noted.

19 February 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=22955

Deputies in the Kosovo Parliament Pass a Law concerning the Protection of the Religious Heritage of the Region

Filed under: Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

THIS is how the Albanians “protect” Christian holy sites in Kosovo-Metohija… no, thank you, please!

One of the first laws adopted by the parliament of “independent” Kosovo was a statute concerning the protection of the religious heritage of the region. The session of parliament, which has lasted into Tuesday, the first after the unilateral declaration of independence on 17 February, was transmitted live on Kosovo state television. A majority of the deputies approved measures regulating passports and citizenship, protecting the cultural and religious heritage of the region, settling the boundaries of political subdivisions, and establishing a police force for the self-proclaimed new entity.

19 February 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=22967

There is increasing disorder in the Serbian districts of Kosovo

Filed under: Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Albanian attacks on Serb civilians in Kosovo

According to unconfirmed reports, there is increased tension and disorder in the northern Serbian-populated districts of Kosovo. As reported to Interfax by sources in Pristina on Tuesday, members of the Serbian minority in Kosovo are picketing office buildings and are engaging in demonstrations in the northern region, especially in the region of Zuben Potok. According to these same sources, Serbs are picketing customs stations that handle traffic from Serbia. We stress, Interfax has not yet received official confirmation of these reports.

19 February 2008

Interfax-Politics

http://www.interfax.ru/r/B/themeday2/32.html?id_issue=11972578

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