While the U.S., England, several EU countries and other regional countries have recognized Kosovo’s independence, Serbia has vowed to prevent international recognition of Kosovo’s independence. Serbia has downgraded diplomatic relations with all countries that have recognized Kosovo’s independence, withdrew their diplomats from several countries, have demanded that the Secretary General of the United Nations annul Kosovo’s independence, and charged Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and Speaker Jakup Krasniqi with committing “a serious criminal act against the constitutional order and security of Serbia.”
One thing is certainly clear in all of this: while international recognition of Kosovo’s independence grows with each passing day, the only thing Serbia is gaining is international recognition for their commitment to isolation. One must ask whether this is fair to the majority of the Serbian people intent on joining the European Union.
Serbia’s inflammatory remarks by their government officials, as opposed to Kosovo’s declaration of independence, is now the main factor for instability in the region. What happened to the promise several months ago by the Serbian government that cool heads should prevail in the event of a unilateral declaration of independence?
I guess the likes of Kostunica, Nikolic, and Jeremic forgot, or perhaps the “cool heads” did not apply to them. I also guess it’s much easier to return to the good old days of Balkan tough talk. The difference is that what may have worked for Belgrade twenty years ago won’t work with an international community resolute on supporting Kosovo’s independence.
Serbia has recalled its ambassador to the US in response to Washington’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said Monday. In retaliation for the proclaimed secession, Serbia also filed legal charges against Kosovo’s leadership and vowed to block the nascent nation’s attempts to join international community. Kostunica told Serbia’s lawmakers that his government had ordered ambassador Ivan Vujacic to “urgently” return to Belgrade. He lashed out at the US, accusing it of being behind Kosovo’s bid for independence.
“This decision by the United States will not turn the false state (of Kosovo) into a real one,” Kostunica told parliament. “The government has ordered the immediate withdrawal of the ambassador from Washington.” Kostunica said US recognition showed “the true face of America.”
He added Kosovo’s independence declaration was “unilateral, illegal and immoral, carried out under the protection of the brutal force of the United States and NATO.” “America violated international law for its own interests,” he said. Last week, Belgrade vowed to downgrade – but not break – diplomatic ties with all nations that recognize Kosovo’s independence. Later Monday, the Foreign Ministry said ambassadors to France and Turkey also were ordered back to the country, following their formal diplomatic recognition of Kosovo. They were withdrawn for “consultation until further notice,” the ministry statement said.
“America and the European Union are stealing Kosovo from us, everyone must realize that,” said Tomislav Nikolic, the head of the ultra-nationalist Radical Party. “From this moment on, we must count the days until we liberate Kosovo.” President Boris Tadic and the government already have rejected Kosovo’s independence as “illegal and invalid,” vowing to reclaim the territory which was the heart of medieval Serbian kingdom. Serbian lawmakers endorsed the government resolution.
Tadic, who is in New York to address the UN Security Council, said that Serbia would demand that the world body express its respect for the territorial integrity of member states. “I will demand from (UN Secretary-General) Ban Ki-moon the immediate annulment of the independence proclamation by the nonexistent state in Kosovo,” Tadic said in an interview from New York broadcast on state television.
Earlier, the Interior Ministry said Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci and Speaker Jakup Krasniqi had been charged with committing “a serious criminal act against the constitutional order and security of Serbia” following Sunday’s declaration by Kosovo’s Albanian-dominated parliament. Serbia also said it would seek to block Kosovo from gaining diplomatic recognition and membership in international organizations.
“The so-called Kosovo state will never be a member of the United Nations,” Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said. “Serbia will use all diplomatic means at its disposal to block Kosovo’s recognition.” Jeremic said Serbia would rely on Russia to block Kosovo’s membership to the United Nations, while Belgrade would block Kosovo’s access to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe. Every member of the two organizations must agree to newcomers.
“As long as Serbia is a member (of the two organizations), the so-called Kosovo state will not be,” he said. It remains unclear whether the new nation will be able to join financial bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Several thousand university students marched through the center of Belgrade to oppose an independent Kosovo with banners reading “It (Kosovo) Will Be Ours.” Separate groups of protesters stoned the Turkish Embassy and a nearby McDonald’s restaurant in a repeat of Sunday’s rioting, when Kosovo’s declaration sparked angry protests in several cities and clashes with riot police that left about 50 people injured.
Article can be found here.