Kostunica had proposed a resolution in which there would be no discussion or negotiation whatsoever towards European Union membership without first ensuring that countries within the EU who recognized Kosovo’s declaration of independence unequivocally rescinded that recognition. Kostunica and perhaps others in his Nationalist Party and those in the Radical Party either sincerely believed that that would happen or, at the very least, did not want anything to do with the European Union in the first place. To them, Serbia was going to align with Russia.
Surely, Kostunica’s belief that the EU would rescind its recognition is either Balkan tough talk gone horribly astray or severe psychosis or both. Anyone with even half a brain would know that the EU would not be rescinding its recognition of Kosovo’s independence anytime soon.
Kostunica’s coalition “partners,” such as President Boris Tadic, saw through the rhetoric and easily garnered enough support in the government to block Kostunica’s resolution from square one. Kostunica, who went “all in” on a Deuce high, was called out . . . and lost big time. He has no more chips to gamble with. It is thus not surprising that Kostunica has resigned. The government will be dissolved Monday. New elections to come probably in May.
Now, what comes next? Will Kostunica’s nationalist party align with Darth Vader’s Party, otherwise known as the Serbian Radical Party? In the end, Serbia’s voters will be faced directly with this question: Should Serbia seek European Union membership now that the EU has recognized Kosovo’s independence?
Of course, will Serbia take the path of least resistance and choose isolation and nationalist rhetoric, or will it learn from the mistakes of its past and look West towards the European Union?
And last, but not least, who and what will Russia and Serbia blame for the dissolution of their government. Certainly not Kostunica’s gamble to make Kosovo the end all, be all issue of the government. After all, to Russia and certain of those in Serbia’s government, it is the tail that wags the dog.
Serbia’s identity crisis begins again.