Russia’s newly appointed ambassador/attack dog to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, demanded a special UN conference when Kosovo declares independence. The purpose of this conference would be dedicated to “setting up of rules in cases where secessionist movements” seek independence.
Viewed in the light most favorable to Rogozin, his concern for the “setting up of rules” is surely a laudable and apolitical one, right? Well, even the best intentions are marred by reality, and in this case, it is Russia’s vitriol for everything and everyone that does not go their way. When you hear what Rogozin says, you wonder whether he took a page out of PM Vojislav Kostunica’s Book of Things To Say That Make You Look Like a Xenophobic Neanderthal or vice versa.
To be fair, Rogozin starts out pretty tame when he says the first principle he would “suggest” in the rules on “secessionist movements” is anyone seeking secession has no right to use violence. Okay, I think we’re all on the same page there. Then, the attack dog comes out — as we all expected.
Rogozin states that those who already resorted to violence, “such as [Kosovar] Albanians, with the blessing of their Western backers,” must first reconstruct everything they destroyed. The Kosovar Albanian “secessionists,” according to Javnosti, must also pay full compensation to the Serbian victims for declaring independence.
Interesting. I wonder if those rules Rogozin “suggests” would apply to Russia in its backing of Transnistria’s bid for universally recognized independence. Or do Rogozin’s suggestions only apply to non-Muslim, Russian-supported “secessionist movements”?
Rogozin then goes on to suggest that even if Belgrade did not oppose Kosovo’s independence, the EU would have to take into consideration that Kosovo is a “laboratory of drugs,” and that by preventing power to go into the “hands of terrorists and criminals,” the EU would be “defending its own standards and civilization values.”
Of course, why hasn’t anyone thought of that before? What planet is Dmitry Rogozin from? Oh, that’s right: Russia.
Russian’s newly appointed ambassador to NATO [Dmitry Rogozin] explained that the gathering would be dedicated to the protection of international law and setting up of rules in cases where secessionist movements seek independence. In an interview with the Belgrade daily Glas Javnosti, he told Serbia that it “has to remain resolute and principled as far as the Kosovo issue is concerned.” According to Rogozin, the first and principal rule for anyone seeking secession ought to be that they have no right to use violence. Then, the Russian diplomat said, those who have already resorted to violence, “such as [Kosovo] Albanians, with the blessing of their Western backers,” must first reconstruct everything they destroyed.
The rules Russia would propose to such a conference would also state that a secessionist movement that has incurred damages to the state where they live must pay full compensation to its victims, the Russian NATO ambassador explained. “And a very important rule would be that there must not be any foreign military bases in the territories seeking secession. With foreign bases present, only a protectorate and an imitation of independence can actually be obtained.”
Asked whether a Russian demand to organize such a conference “would suffice”, he answered by expressing hope that it would, particularly, as he put it, if Serbia continued to be decisive, tough and principled in refusing to accept Kosovo’s possible declaration of independence. However, Rogozin said, he “fears that Serbia was still somewhat divided concerning that issue.” Serbia may be heading for a change of the regime, the Russian diplomat said, and if this happens, “the ones to be held responsible for this will be Americans and those Western European countries which, in cooperation with them, are strangling Serbia.”
According to Rogozin, even if Belgrade did not oppose Kosovo’s secession, the European Union “would have to take into consideration the fact that tiny Kosovo is a laboratory of drugs, and that by defending Kosovo Serbs and preventing the authorities in Priština to be transferred into the hands of terrorists and criminals, it would be defending its own standards and civilization values.” (This article was published by B92 and can be found here.)