Voices from Russia

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Kosovo’s self-proclaimed independence: What next?

Filed under: patriotic,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

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The autonomous province of Kosovo has proclaimed political independence. This event was expected a long time ago, but its consequences are still unclear. What international complications may be caused by this decision and its recognition by a part of the world community?

First, this creates a legal predicament. The absence of UN Security Council approval is taking this process outside the international legal field. Formally, the UN mission set up in line with 1999 Security Council Resolution 1244 governs the province. De facto, the UN is not performing this function, and real power will go to the Mission of the European Union (EU). The EU insists on its right to institute such a body, referring to this resolution, but its legitimacy is highly doubtful.

In any event, Kosovo’s independence is relevant. In practical terms, it will be a new type of international protectorate, and the local authorities will be quite limited in their actions. Potentially, Kosovo may enter into a conflict with its Western partners, but that is unlikely. Pristina knows that independence will not resolve any of its urgent problems, such as its economic crisis, high unemployment rate, and the ensuing criminalisation of society. If Belgrade exerts economic pressure on Pristina, the situation in Kosovo may become even worse. In the long term, Kosovo’s economy will fully depend on the EU, and international financial institutions will hardly be able to render assistance to a province with such a vague status.

Second, it is impossible to exclude the possibility of armed clashes. Neither Belgrade nor Pristina are interested in them, but there are enough radicals capable of provocations among both the Kosovars and the Serbs. Those Serbs that remain on Kosovo’s territory will be in an extremely difficult situation. The authorities of Kosovo and their Western partners are vitally interested in the well-being of the Serbian minority. Any incident may have disastrous moral consequences for the self-proclaimed province. It is not clear for how long the EU and NATO will bear the full responsibility for security in the province.

The event will have unpleasant repercussions in Bosnia and Macedonia. In the mid 1990s, when the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina was set up in line with the Dayton Accords, its ethnic communities, Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, were denied self-determination. The international patrons of Bosnian sovereignty compelled these three communities to unite into a single state. The new state was built on the non-ethnic principle. Kosovo’s independence rests on the ethnic principle that allows the Bosnian Serbs to demand self-determination and accession to Serbia. Bosnia’s redivision is fraught with gigantic problems for all of Europe. Macedonia is a country with a tangible Albanian minority that is rapidly growing. The Albanians have a higher birth rate than the Slavs. Although the idea of the Greater Albania is more in the nature of a political venture, the Albanians may view themselves as a divided ethnic community.

Third, the Kosovo case will create a precedent that will influence developments in other parts of Europe. Its influence is unlikely to be decisive in stable and prosperous EU countries with a separatist potential such as France, Belgium, Spain, and Britain. The Kosovo case may provide a catalyst, though not by itself (it is ridiculous to compare Flemish and Kosovar separatism), but, by again bringing up the problem of self-determination. Unstable countries like Bosnia, Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan will feel the impact of the Kosovo scenario. Their minorities will interpret it as a direct precedent.

Fourth, there is a general problem that is linked not only with Kosovo. International institutions are growing weaker, and stepping back from resolving urgent issues. The inability of the great powers to come to terms on the rules of conduct results in the degradation of almost all global organisations. International law is increasingly turning from the foundation of decision-making into an instrument for legalising what has already been decided.

18 February 2008

Fyodor Lukyanov

Editor, Russia in Global Affairs magazine

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20080218/99526792.html

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Demonstrators break into the US Embassy Compound in Belgrade

Filed under: patriotic,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

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Demonstrators broke in to the compound of the US Embassy in the centre of Belgrade, and they attempted to set fires and lit off smoke bombs, according to a report from Reuters on Thursday. At the time of the protest, the embassy was closed, and Serbian police were guarding it. On Thursday evening, Serbian police units attempted to guard the entrances to the Embassy grounds, and tried to prevent any of the protestors from breaking into the building. However, more than 300 protestors, most of them young, gathered on the grounds of the Embassy. Earlier this week, those protesting the UDI of Kosovo attempted to break into the premises of the US Embassy. They threw burning material onto one of the balconies and they smashed windows. On Sunday, the parliament of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. The main supporters of the Kosovo provisional government are the USA and the European Union.

21 February 2008

RIA-Novosti

http://www.rian.ru/incidents/20080221/99819379.html

Editor’s note:

There were no US diplomatic personnel in the building at the time of the riot according to a CNN report quoted in an earlier post. The only Americans in the compound were US marines, and all of them have been accounted for. There were over 100,000 people at the protest, which ended peacefully. Just watch the Western media blow this out of proportion. These rioters did not account for even 1 percent of those attending the demonstration. CNN covers the riot, whilst Interfax and Nezavisimaya Gazeta cover the molieben, and give it higher billing. You can see where Ted Turner’s priorities are! Bozhe moi!

BMD

Is America getting ready for…

Filed under: Uncategorized — 01varvara @ 00.00

Serbian mother and child in a bomb shelter during the American terror bombing of ’99. Russia is not the irresponsible party in the Balkans… the USA and its godless “democracy” is such, and in spades.

There was a report from CNN that caused me great concern. It had much the same information as the RIA-Novosti report I translated. The URL for the CNN article is:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/02/21/kosovo.independence/index.html

What concerns me is a quote from Richard Holbrooke, a former negotiator in the Balkans under President Clinton, who said: “The fact that (independence has) not happened as peacefully as people had hoped is the direct result of the incitement to violence by extremist elements in Belgrade, implicitly and privately supported by the Russians”.

Mr Holbrooke’s statement is utter rot and he should apologise for it to President Putin and the Russian people immediately. I have been following the Russian press since the outbreak of the crisis, and I can assure you there have been no incitements to violence there. True, there is much anti-American sentiment, but, after the US-led NATO aggression against Federal Yugoslavia in 1999, such is understandable.

I repeat, there have been NO incitements in the responsible Russian press to violence against America, Americans, or American institutions. Mr Holbrooke’s comment is reprehensible, irresponsible in a time of crisis, and he should retract it and apologise for as soon as possible. Indeed, America has been the jingo and aggressor in the region… they have been the sponsors of the Croat and Albanian separatist rebels (who were the willing and enthusiastic supporters of the Nazis in World War II.

May God preserve us in this time of tension.

Vara Drezhlo

Thursday 21 February 2008

Albany NY

A total of 96 people were injured in disorders in Belgrade today at the protest against Kosovo independence

Filed under: patriotic,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

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Dr Dusan Jovanovic, the deputy director of clinical services in Belgrade, stated that 96 people, including 32 policemen, were injured because of clashes between police and demonstrators during the massive protest against the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo on 21 February. He noted that most injuries were minor, practically all those treated were sent home, and only 3 of those injured required hospitalisation. Most of the injuries consisted of simple lacerations to arms, legs, and head.

Mass disorder broke out in Belgrade in the evening on Thursday, after the conclusion of the protest rally against the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo. Some of the participants in the rally peacefully went to St Sava Cathedral for a molieben for Kosovo. Another, more radical, part of the crowd attempted to attack the embassies of the countries that had supported the independence of Kosovo. As of 01.00 CET, there are reports of attacks on the embassies of Great Britain, Germany, Croatia, Turkey, Belgium, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The demonstrators also hurled stones at a MacDonald’s fast-food restaurant and the offices of some European banks. Several floors of the US embassy were set on fire, and after the fire was extinguished, an unidentified body was found.

22 February 2008

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru

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