The Myth of Greater Albania

One of the arguments against an independent Kosovo is what I call the Greater Albania myth.  This argument is not often used in high level negotiations, but rather in polemic talk in bars.  But with apparently desperate times comes desperate measures, and the Greater Albania myth has again taken hold.

Basically, Greater Albania refers to land outside of Albania where Albanians have a majority.  The Greater Albania myth is that Albanian nationalists want to make a Greater Albanian country and that Kosovo is really a move towards a Greater Albania.  In some ways, it’s like the infamous Domino Theory, in that having a Greater Albania is the most dangerous and evil thing that the world has ever seen and that any region with a majority of Albanians declaring independence must be a conspiracy for a Greater Albania and therefore must be stopped before Greater Albania takes over the region, the world, and perhaps the solar system.

It’s a bunch of crap.  It plays right into the hands of fear mongers.  It plays on misconceptions.  It’s a throwback to stereotypes and ethnic hatreds.  It’s completely idiotic when it comes to the future status of Kosovo.

Unfortunately, these fear mongers are the ones involved in the negotiations.  Aren’t you optimistic?  Aren’t you confident in human existence when politicians, claiming to be for peace, stoke up old prejudices that do nothing except incite the minds of the ignorant?  I can’t explain the Greater Albania myth better than Russian representative in the Troika, Alexander Botsan-Harchenko.  He is supposed to be one of the “mediators” of the negotiations.

Tell me this Alexander Botsan-Harchenko, how the hell do you expect to mediate fairly, and apply “normal logic,” as you call it, when you use the Greater Albania myth?  What planet are you from?

He reported today to Blic ( the following:

I expect a breakthrough at the last round of the Belgrade-Pristina negotiations in Austria, but there are some chances for progress if the Albanian delegation returns to normal logic to first reach a result on the status negotiations, and only then to examine post-status issues, the Russian representative in the Troika Alexander Botsan-Harchenko says to Blic. He also warns to the fact that, if things go out of control, he cannot exclude the possibility of the creation of a greater Albania, which would be the result of unification of territories inhabited with Albanians.


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