Serbia Says It Will Annul Kosovo’s Independence (Or: I am PM Vojislav Kostunica And Hear Me Roar . . . meow)

Serbia’s Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has again beaten his chest and attempted to roar. Instead, all that’s come out of his mouth is a pretty weak meow.

Not surprisingly, Kostunica told DPA that it will “reject and annul” any declaration of Kosovo’s independence. Of course, since Serbia’s henchman, Russia, will without question block any Security Council Resolution, Serbia’s “rejection” and “annulment” really don’t mean anything, in light of the fact that the core countries will recognize Kosovo’s independence.  Nothing that Serbia or Russia have said have deterred the core countries from recognizing Kosovo’s independence.  Nothing will now.

To top off his public relations campaign, Kostunica accused NATO of plans to prop up a “puppet state” on “Serbian soil.” Of course, according to Kostunica, any group that rejects the party line of Serbia and Russia is a “puppet state” of the Americans and the western world. Unfortunately for Mr. Kostunica, it appears then that the majority of countries are “puppet states,” as most have flatly rejected the party line that Serbia and Russia have drawn in the sand. Interestingly, when it comes to “puppet states,” I ask Kostunica how many strings does Russia have attached to his back?

One other Kostunica comment that seals the deal. Russia and Serbia have forged ahead with the position that talks should resume and any decision for a declaration of independence should be delayed. To support that position, Kostunica said, “We can continue negotiating, we are ready for a compromise, but Serbia must be and remain whole.”

Mr. Kostunica: you just answered why there will be no further negotiations. As U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently noted, there really is no point to negotiate further when its clear that any form of Kosovar independence is a nonstarter for the Serbs.  Serbia can repeat ad naseaum the “autonomous province” idea or the “joint independence” idea . . . but it’s all the same argument. In the end, Belgrade insists on sovereignty over Kosovo. And it’s that very reason why further negotiations are fruitless. Kosovo was an “autonomous province.” And then we all know what happened. Why would Kosovo enter into such an agreement again, when its clear from both the rhetoric and official policy of Serbia that Kosovar Albanians will always be second-class citizens in the eyes of Belgrade?

Serbia will reject and annul any declaration of Kosovo’s independence, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said Monday, ahead of his departure for New York and a UN Security Council debate on the breakaway Serbian province. Kostunica again accused NATO of plans to set up a “puppet state” on Serbian soil and added that in New York he would seek to secure a continuation of negotiations on Kosovo’s status. Belgrade insists on sovereignty over Kosovo, where the majority Albanians want independence quickly.

“We can continue negotiating, we are ready for a compromise, but Serbia must be and remain whole,” Kostunica said in a statement. The nationalist premier has fully turned away from the West and toward Russia, which backs Serbia in the Kosovo issue. He said any solution in line with international laws protecting sovereign borders was acceptable, while “we will never give up our right to guard Serbia’s integrity.”

Belgrade and Kosovo Albanians negotiated without any result over most of 2006 and again during the past four months. Serbia offers autonomy as a compromise, but the Albanians, supported by the West, want nothing less than independence. The Security Council is to debate the situation behind closed doors on Wednesday. The body remains divided as Russia supports Serbia, which excludes a solution passing through the UN. Kostunica was set to address the Security Council, but also set to speak was Kosovo’s President Fatmir Sejdiu, though only as an individual, as Russia has blocked his appearance in the name of Kosovo.

Departing Pristina for New York on Sunday, Sejdiu expressed confidence that the status process was nearing a conclusion and said his appearance at the Security Council was “another opportunity to present the vision of an independent Kosovo.” Since NATO ousted Serbia’s security forces from Kosovo in a 1999 bombing campaign aimed at ending ethnic bloodshed, the province has only nominally remained a part of Serbia, occupying 15 per cent of its southernmost soil. The Albanians, making up 90 per cent of the 2.2 million inhabitants, are hostile to Serbia and have threatened to take up arms if they do not win independence. The United States and most of the European Union want to allow independence for Kosovo, supervised and helped along by an EU mission comprising police, justice and customs officials.

Serbia has refused to agree with the mission and said the status quo may not be changed without a UN resolution. The stalemate is expected to produce a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo, followed by a volley of bilateral recognitions of the world’s newest country.  (Source:  DPA).


10 thoughts on “Serbia Says It Will Annul Kosovo’s Independence (Or: I am PM Vojislav Kostunica And Hear Me Roar . . . meow)

  1. Kosovo is Serbians Soul. Kosovo belonged to the Serbs for thousands of years. Get rid of the Albanians in Kosovo, and return the land to it’s rightful owners…THE SERBIAN PEOPLE!

  2. Dear Suzana,

    Thank you for your note. Your sentiment is precisely why the “autonomous province” idea will never fly with Kosovar Albanians. Your view is shared by many in Belgrade. Thus, behind the Serbian’s velvet glove of “diplomacy,” is an iron fist of ethnic nationalism. I think most outside of Serbia have seen through the velevet glove given Kostunica’s statements (and others) that have betrayed Serbia’s attempts to come across as a moderate state worthy of inclusion to the European Union. The more Kostunica and his government issue official statements, the more it is apparent that although Serbia has an eye towards progressivism and Europe, it has its hand caught in the poisoned cookie jar of ethnic nationalism that so many in the region can’t help themselves from getting into. Until they let go of that — both the reality and the appearence of reality — Serbia will remain victim to its past.

    To any readers reading this exchange, the view shared by Suzana is precisely the dangers of ethnic nationalism, which can be — and has been — exploited by irresponsible politicians. One of those, of course, was Slobodan Milosovic.

    Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

  3. Dear Cheesburger 9000,

    Where are you from? In which country do you live?
    While I can certainly understand that you support Albanians in their desire to have their independent state, I need to understand where you live or where you came from. I don’t know any other state, or people, that would give a piece of their land to their minority for the sake of “democracy”.

    Albanians want independence. Great. But, wait a minute, they have their home country right beside Kosovo. Albania. Go to Albania. There is their ticket out of terrible, natioanlistic Serbia. Go back to the homeland. Make Albania part of European Union and NATO. Serbs will wish them the best of luck! Oh, but wait a minute… nobody is even mantioning Albania??? Why? Because Albania is so poor and undeveloped that nobody wants anything to do with it. If Albanians were so great and forward thinking as you are describing them, how come nobody is engaging them in a dialogue? How come EU is not asking them to join Union?

    Look… why would you reward illegal immigrants, and thugs with an independence in any state… forget that we are talking about Serbia. How can UK and US be even engaged in a dialogue with representatives from Albanian side in Kosovo, and at the same time wage a war on terror in other parts of the globe? KLA is illegal military formation. Illegal military formations are against the law in any country… even in Serbia. So why does the world now think that there is a good reason to reward them, and then on the other hand punish all the illegal Mexicans in the US, illegal Maroccans in Spain and France and so on…

    Aside all historical heritage, no country in the world will give up a part of it’s teritory with out a fight. And for any country to recognize Kosovo is a political suicide. OK, maybe Germany and England can do it, but Spain, France, and Belgium can not. China, India neither. So in the end, it’s the US through it’s economical muscle that’s forcing the foreign policy like always.

  4. Dear Mr. Krezovic,

    Thanks for your comment.

    1) Where I come from is irrelevant.

    2) The Greater Albanian Myth, heh? That what’s Slobodan said before he stripped Kosovo of autonomy and then committed horrendous war crimes.

    3) No one is engaging Albania in a dialogue over Kosovo independence because they are two separate entities.

    4) Are you calling Kosovars “illegal immigrants and thugs”? Mr. Krezovic: you are providing your own best argument against your own argument.

    5) KLA was a rebel group. It became legalized into UCK after some certain changes after UN SCR 1244. AKSH is the illegal group.

    6) As for the US pushing through Kosovo independence: you’re right. They are pushing through Kosovo independence. You also forgot the EU is doing the same thing. A will of nations. Oh, that’s right, Serbia chose Russia as its friend to push through Kosovo autonomy (which I think you disagree with, as Albanians are “illegal immigrants” on Kosovo soil and should all move back to Albania even though many of them have no connection whatsoever to the country), and where has it left Serbia? Certainly not any closer to membership with the EU.

    7) ” I don’t know any other state, or people, that would give a piece of their land to their minority for the sake of “democracy”. The first question to ask Mr. Krezonic is: “Do you know of any other state or people in the last twenty-five years that have ethnically cleansed — through deliberate violence and terror — their minority for the sake of a “pure” country?” One comes to mind: Serbia. Thus the statement you bring up misses that crucial fact.

    Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

  5. Eh, Mr Cheeseburger or (separatist supporter), HISTORY does not start when CNN cameras roll! You should know better that nobody “cleansed” Albanians (unless you read some fabricated reports). They got everything till ’81 when they started first succession (or maybe you were there but have a short memory or maybe you are not enough educated to know that). And indeed, I don’t know any state that would give a piece of their land to somebody else.
    And for the atrocities! Well, if you watch and follow your favorite TV stations backed up by all kind of terrorists and drug dealers you will find who committed atrocities.
    For KLA, as far I as I can recall they were terrorist group, and I am not sure how can such a group become legalized. Than lets legalize Al qaida since they are heavy supporters of Kososvos separation, besides same US and EU know they have their training camps there.

  6. Dear Lucaso

    So you are saying that there was no cleansing of the Albanians in 98 and 99? Who’s the one ignoring history?

    As for KLA, maybe you should check your facts then get back to me.

    Don’t worry Lucaso, when Kosovo declares independence, Quebec is not going to follow, my canadian friend.

    Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

  7. “Mr. Cheeseburger” endorses the following site with no criticism of it:

    At the above site, the commentary on why Kosovo has a better case for independence than Pridnestrovie (Trans-Dniester) is questionable (put mildly). In addition to Pridnestrovie having the better human rights and historical claims, its ethnic Moldovan population are in general agreement with its Slavic majority of Russians and politically Blue Ukrainians (most of Pridnestrovie’s Ukrainian population are of a non-Orange view).

  8. Cheeseburger,

    Lets say you allowed someone to live in your home. That person decides that since he has been living in your home for some time, he doesn’t feel that your home is yours anymore. He takes you to court because since he has been living in your home for some time, he feels that he is entitled to have this home legally signed to his name. How would you feel?

  9. Dear Suzana,

    Thanks again for your comments. I understand your position and I respect your passion for your views. Although I disagree with what you are saying, I hope you can understand that I have nothing against you at all. This is a discussion and I hope we can exchange it freely. So everything I say here is with the deepest respect for you as a person. Deal?

    The premise of your argument rests on what your definition of “home” is. According to you, Kosovo belongs and only belongs to the Serbian people. Anyone else is a visitor and is not entitled to be there because they are second class citizens. I think that argument is flawed to some extent.

    Now imagine this scenario, even with how you are defining “home.” Imagine a nationalist leader calling for the expulsion of those “second class citizens” from your “home.” And when I mean expulsion, I mean violent expulsion. The violent expulsion is so bad that, let’s just say, an international coaltion comes in to stop the people from cleansing the “second class citizens” from the home. Those people are then forced out because of their horrendous actions to those “second class citizens.”

    Now imagine this: those same people want their home back and promise to govern the “second class citizens” fairly.

    Not a scenario I would want to be in.

  10. Dear All,

    I just wanted to give my humble point of view.

    In psychology, when some conflict or quarrel arise between two persons (or children) it’s not a truth to say that one person is wrong and the other is right. The truth is that every person contributed this way or another and you would only make things worse by doing that.

    When some major conflict is in question things gets much more complicated. When it comes to any kind of war or crisis in whatever country in the world terrible things happen on both sides: killings, murders, great injustice, lies, propaganda, exodus. In that times worst people in every society emerge and take charge of other people’s fate and become in power. When it starts, it’s hard to stop it.

    It happens unfortunately everywhere, from the past until present, from small events to big ones, in US (War for Independence, Civil War, New Orleans Hurricane), former Yugoslavia, China, Russia, Africa, everywhere.

    So, the truth is usually very hard to find, and it’s always ugly, very ugly, and for victims is too late.

    Regarding Kosovo, to say that Albanians are victims I agree, but the victims are also Serbs and others who lived or are living there now.

    In your article, Cheeseburger, you are in favor of one side and it’s absolutely legitimate.

    But I must give a comment on two things.

    Firstly, you approach to history as written in stone. History is very very tricky area. There can be much truth, but with many lies, deceptions, propaganda, things not mentioned. Also, there is always a second side that you’ve forgot but, of course, with the same pitfalls.

    Secondly, regarding your view of negotiations. In diplomacy, two parties negotiate when they are willing to find solution for some problem.
    They have their starting positions, often completely opposite. In that process one of them may have better starting position (like Albanians from Kosovo) and there can be much of external pressure by foreign parties.
    During the process every side gives something away that is less important for them, but is important for the other side, in favor for something that is more important for them. Finally, by making compromises, they come to solution that is acceptable for both of them. That’s negotiation.
    In the process of Kosovo’s negotiations, both Serbia and Albanians from Kosovo had hard their starting positions and completely opposite ones. Albanians wants only independence (meaning becoming new country) and Serbia wants everything except that kind of independence.
    Both sides are hard in their attitudes but what EU and US have done is this: they’ve supported starting position of only one side. That are not negotiations.

    I’ve tried not to be biased in this comment and if I was it wasn’t my intention. I respect opinions of others, I just wanted to remind people that it is very easy to become passioned and influenced by crowd, media, and whatsoever in whatever country you live in. One should always try to think with his own head.

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