Author Topic: Independant Kosovo, WWIII  (Read 539 times)

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Offline Pravoslavni

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Independant Kosovo, WWIII
« on: February 19, 2008, 06:19:44 PM »
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  • With the U.S. backing an independant Kosovo, and Russia, refusong to recognize and independant Kosovo, I think we may have the recipee for war.

    An independent Kosovo can never join U.N.: Russia
    By Louis Charbonneau  |  January 16, 2008

    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia on Wednesday backed its ally Serbia, saying Kosovo will never become a member of the United Nations or other international organizations if the breakaway province unilaterally declares independence.

    The two million Albanians in the Serbian province are expected to declare independence sometime after Serbia's presidential elections later this month.

    Serbian President Boris Tadic said in a speech to the U.N. Security Council that his country would never recognize a sovereign Kosovo, a view the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, made clear Moscow shared.

    "They (Kosovo) would not become members of the United Nations, they would not become members of international political institutions ... if they go down the road of unilateral declarations," Churkin told reporters.

    As a permanent veto-wielding member of the 15-nation Security Council, which would have to approve Kosovo's U.N. membership, Moscow would have the power to block any request from Pristina to join the United Nations.

    But Churkin would not directly say whether Russia was prepared to block Kosovo's U.N. membership.

    Both Churkin and Tadic urged the Security Council to continue working to find a solution to the Kosovo problem that is acceptable to both Belgrade and Pristina. But diplomats say the time for such talks is over.

    U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told reporters the Security Council was blocked and no longer had any role to play on the issue of Kosovo's future status.

    Churkin disagreed. "The matter is firmly locked in the Security Council," he said.

    Western diplomats say Russia has prevented the council from passing a resolution that would open the door to independence for Kosovo. But Churkin made clear that Moscow did not feel responsible for the impasse and hoped the council would discuss his idea of a "roadmap" that could resolve the Kosovo issue.


    The United States and the vast majority of the 27-nation European Union would recognize Kosovo immediately after it announces it has become a sovereign state, Western diplomats say.

    "Serbia will never recognize Kosovo's independence and will preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty by all democratic means, legal arguments and diplomacy," Tadic told the council, adding "Serbia will not resort to violence and war."

    Khalilzad welcomed Tadic's assurances and urged Belgrade not to use economic weapons like restricting the region's access to water or electricity.

    Kosovo's newly elected prime minister, ethnic Albanian former guerrilla Hashim Thaci, also addressed the council. Afterward he said Pristina would not wait much longer to declare independence. "I am sure that the decision will be taken very soon," he said.

    Thaci shook hands with Tadic in the council chamber. A reporter asked him to describe the moment.

    "We shook hands as the leaders of two independent countries," Thaci said.

    As the role of the United Nations in Kosovo shrinks, the EU plans take over U.N. police and justice functions, with NATO troops continuing to maintain order in an independent Kosovo.

    Joachim Ruecker, the chief U.N. administrator in Kosovo, indicated the province could to stand on its own.

    "Kosovo's institutions are now ready for the next step," he said. "If all sides have good will, I think we can achieve this."

    (Editing by Kristin Roberts)

    Kosovo celebrates amid Serb protests
    Story Highlights
    Kosovo celebrates independence, but riots break out in Belgrade

    PM Thaci: "From this day onwards, Kosovo is proud, independent and free"

    Thousands of people on streets of capital Pristina, waving flags and cheering

    U.S., EU expected to recognize new state, but Serbia and ally Russia will not
    PRISTINA, Kosovo (CNN) -- Fireworks lit the skies and crowds filled the streets of Kosovo's capital Sunday after the territory's parliament declared independence from Serbia, a move backed by many Western governments, but which Serbia and Russia bitterly oppose.

    "The day has come," Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, a former separatist guerrilla leader, told his parliament. "From this day onwards, Kosovo is proud, independent and free."

    The province has been under U.N. administration and patrolled by NATO troops since a 1999 bombing campaign that halted a Serb-led campaign against Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority.

    Thousands of people swarmed Pristina's streets ahead of Sunday's parliamentary declaration, singing, dancing and holding signs in freezing wind after the vote was announced. But Serbs consider the territory the cradle of their civilization, and protesters clashed with police outside the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade as the declaration was issued.

    Serbia said it will not oppose independence with violence, but Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said his country will never accept the establishment of a "false country" on its territory.

    "Anything and everything that we couldn't achieve today will be obtained by new generations of Serbian people in the future," Kostunica said Sunday in a televised address. "Citizens of Serbia, we have to come together and show the whole world that we do not acknowledge the creation of a false state in our territory. The violence that has been perpetrated upon Serbia is very obvious."

    About 100,000 Serbs still live in Kosovo, making up about 5 percent of the population, and Kostunica said Serbs have been killed or lost their land in the eight-plus years the country has been under international rule. But Fatmir Sejdiu, the nascent republic's president, pledged to create a nation "where all citizens of all ethnicities feel appreciated."

    "Today is probably a day of trepidation for some of you, but your property and your rights will be respected in the future," he said.

    Former U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark, who led the NATO alliance during the 1999 conflict, said "There was no way beyond moving to this step." But he urged the international community to work with Serbia to keep the country moving toward integration with Europe and "to help them understand their situation."

    "I'm very sad that the Serbs are unable to understand what's happened," Clark told CNN. "But the magnitude of Serb repression of the Albanian majority there and the violence that accompanied the ethnic cleansing in 1998 and 1999 was just so overwhelming that I think the Serb people have to understand that the Albanians themselves have to have this separation."

    Thaci said Kosovo's declaration of independence "marks the end of the breakup of the former Yugoslavia," which triggered years of bloodshed across the Balkans.

    Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic launched a crackdown against ethnic Albanian insurgents led by Thaci in 1998 and refused to yield to Western pressure to halt the campaign. When NATO responded by launching airstrikes against Serbia and Montenegro, the last remaining Yugoslav republics, Yugoslav troops drove hundreds of thousands of Kosovars out of the region and killed thousands more.

    Milosevic died in 2005 while awaiting trial for war crimes before a U.N. tribunal in The Hague.

    The United States and leading European nations, including France, Britain and Germany, have supported Kosovo's move toward independence. But Russia, the Serbs' historical ally, has opposed independence, fearing it would incite other separatist movements in its backyard.

    The U.N. Security Council held emergency talks on the issue Sunday afternoon at Russia's request. Moscow's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, told reporters that the declaration violates the U.N. resolution that placed Kosovo under international administration at the end of the conflict.

    "Our position is that this declaration should be disregarded by the international community," as well as by the head of the U.N. mission in Kosovo, Churkin said. He said the council would meet again Monday, with Serbian President Boris Tadic expected to address the session.

    But no country supported the Russian call for the U.N. to declare Sunday's declaration "null and void," said Sir John Sawers, the British ambassador to the world body.

    Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged all parties "to refrain from any actions or statements that could endanger peace, incite violence or jeopardize security in Kosovo and the region."

    The European Union decided Saturday to launch a mission of about 2,000 police and judicial officers to replace the U.N. mission that has controlled the province since 1999. And U.S. State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States had "noted" that Kosovo had declared its independence and was reviewing the issue.

    Earlier Sunday, President Bush said Kosovo's status must be resolved before the Balkans can become stable.

    "We are heartened by the fact that the Kosovo government has clearly proclaimed its willingness and its desire to support Serbian rights in Kosovo," Bush told reporters in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

    The United States and many of its European allies support a plan negotiated by former Finnish President Maarti Ahtisaari that would give Kosovo limited statehood under international supervision.

    But Russia, which has fought two wars against separatist rebels in its southwestern republic of Chechnya, said U.S. and European support for Kosovo's independence could lead to an "uncontrollable crisis" in the Balkans.

    In a statement, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana urged "everybody to act calmly and in a responsible way. I am convinced that the Kosovar leaders will be up to their responsibilities in this crucial moment." Solana said EU foreign ministers would meet Monday to consider the issue.

    Offline Pravoslavni

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    Independant Kosovo, WWIII
    « Reply #1 on: February 20, 2008, 02:16:46 PM »
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  • Here's an interesting article written by Pat Buchanan about the recently declared independant Kosovo.

    Does Balkanization beckon anew?

    Posted: February 18, 2008
    7:48 pm Eastern

    © 2008  


    When the Great War comes, said old Bismarck, it will come out of "some damn fool thing in the Balkans."

    On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip shot the archduke and heir to the Austrian throne, Franz Ferdinand, in Sarajevo, setting in motion the train of events that led to the first world war.

    In the spring 1999, the United States bombed Serbia for 78 days to force its army out of that nation's cradle province of Kosovo. The Serbs were fighting Albanian separatists of the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA. And we had no more right to bomb Belgrade than the Royal Navy would have had to bombard New York in our Civil War.

    We bombed Serbia, we were told, to stop the genocide in Kosovo. But there was no genocide. This was propaganda. The United Nations' final casualty count of Serbs and Albanians in Slobodan Milosevic's war did not add up to 1 percent of the dead in Mr. Lincoln's war.

    Albanians did flee in the tens of thousands during the war. But since that war's end, the Serbs of Kosovo have seen their churches and monasteries smashed and vandalized and have been ethnically cleansed in the scores of thousands from their ancestral province. In the exodus, they have lost everything. The remaining Serb population of 120,000 is largely confined to enclaves guarded by NATO troops.

    "At a Serb monastery in Pec," writes the Washington Post, "Italian troops protect the holy site, which is surrounded by a massive new wall to shield elderly nuns from stone-throwing and other abuse by passing ethnic Albanians."

    On Sunday, Kosovo declared independence and was recognized by the European Union and President Bush. But this is not the end of the story. It is only the preface to a new history of the Balkans, a region that has known too much history.

    By intervening in a civil war to aid the secession of an ancient province, to create a new nation that has never before existed and, to erect it along ethnic, religious and tribal lines, we have established a dangerous precedent. Muslim and Albanian extremists are already talking of a Greater Albania, consisting of Albania, Kosovo and the Albanian-Muslim sectors of Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia.

    If these Albanian minorities should demand the right to secede and join their kinsmen in Kosovo, on what grounds would we oppose them? The inviolability of borders? What if the Serb majority in the Mitrovica region of northern Kosovo, who reject Albanian rule, secede and call on their kinsmen in Serbia to protect them?

    Would we go to war against Serbia, once again, to maintain the territorial integrity of Kosovo, after we played the lead role in destroying the territorial integrity of Serbia?

    Inside the U.S.-sponsored Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the autonomous Serb Republic of Srpska is already talking secession and unification with Serbia. On what grounds would we deny them?

    The U.S. war on Serbia was unconstitutional, unjust and unwise. Congress never authorized it. Serbia, an ally in two world wars, had never attacked us. We made an enemy of the Serbs, and alienated Russia, to create a second Muslim state in the Balkans.

    By intervening in a civil war where no vital interest was at risk, the United States, which is being denounced as loudly in Belgrade today as we are being cheered in Pristina, has acquired another dependency. And our new allies, the KLA, have been credibly charged with human trafficking, drug dealing, atrocities and terrorism.

    And the clamor for ethnic self-rule has only begun to be heard.

    Rumania has refused to recognize the new Republic of Kosovo, for the best of reasons. Bucharest rules a large Hungarian minority in Transylvania, acquired at the same Paris Peace Conference of 1919 where Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina were detached from Vienna and united with Serbia.

    Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two provinces that have broken away from Georgia, are invoking the Kosovo precedent to demand recognition as independent nations. As our NATO expansionists are anxious to bring Georgia into NATO, here is yet another occasion for a potential Washington-Moscow clash.

    Spain, too, opposed the severing of Kosovo from Serbia, as Madrid faces similar demands from Basque and Catalan separatists.

    The Muslim world will enthusiastically endorse the creation of a new Muslim state in Europe at the expense of Orthodox Christian Serbs. But Turkey is also likely to re-raise the issue as to why the EU and United States do not formally recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Like Kosovo, it, too, is an ethnically homogeneous community that declared independence 25 years ago.

    Breakaway Transneistria is seeking independence from Moldova, the nation wedged between Rumania and Ukraine, and President Putin of Russia has threatened to recognize it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia in retaliation for the West's recognition of Kosovo.

    If Putin pauses, it will be because he recognizes that of all the nations of Europe, Russia is high among those most threatened by the serial Balkanization we may have just reignited in the Balkans


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