Kosovo-2007: Russia’s Moment of Truth

Published on April 3, 2007, Strategic Culture Foundation

Category: Growing International Opposition to Imposed Solution

By Mikhail YAMBAEV

Regardless of when Martti Ahtisaari, a special UN representative finally tables at the United Nations his draft of the future status of the Serbian region of Kosovo and Metochia, western politicians involved with the Kosovo problem are getting nervous. More and more often they recollect Russia and its right of vetoing decisions of the UN Security Council, and Russia’s “responsibility” for the stability in the Balkans. As is known, international criminal Agim Cheku who now represents the Kosovo government, was one of the first people if not the first man to support Ahtisaari’s project. James O’Brian, former representative of the U.S. President in the Balkans, shared this position, too. “The issue now is what would Russians do at the U.N. Security Council,- he said. – What is required from them is to give a chance to everybody willing to recognise Kosovo’s independence do it… They have no direct interests in Kosovo.” That‘s assuming that O’Brian knows better than we do if Russia has its interests in Kosovo. But he goes on to state that American interests in Kosovo are overabundant.

In the early February 2007 the Supreme EU Representative on Foreign and Defence policies Javier Solana stated that Russia is “especially responsible” for the final solution of the Kosovo problem. “I cannot speak on behalf of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, - Solana said , - but I am confident that when the time comes to adopt a resolution, Russia will indicate it is responsible.” (underlined by me, M.Yambaev).

Euro-commissars are making haste interrupting one another in an attempt to persuade Russia to back Ahtisaari’s plans. They remember quite well that in 1999 ex-premier Viktor Chernomyrdin literally saved NATO the need to wage a protracted war in the Balkans, forcing Slobodan Milosevic to leave Kosovo. Russia’s excellent brokerage of the issue earned it western promise of quite a few advantages, but quite naturally in the end Russia got nothing except for a further undermining of its profile in the Balkans.

This time around Russia, given it “cooperates” is promised a rapid entry into the WTO and the abolition of the discriminatory Jackson-Vanick amendment. As for the latter, even the leader of Russian Hassids B.Lazar failed to bring about its annulment. Can it be that this time it will be a success?

Speaking generally, the Euro-commissars would profit considering whether or not Europe could soon begin to enjoy all the pleasures of its anti-Serbian policies, when militants of the Muslim terrorist Internationale that are currently staying in the training camps in Kosovo and Bosnia, begin to arrive for appointments with their houris in the European capitals?

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The dismantling of the Yalta-Potsdam agreements and remapping of the post-war Europe are currently in full swing. Now the time has come for Kosovo and Metohia that had an “experience of independence” during WWII, when the greater part of the region became a part of Great Albania, established by the Fascist Italy. That sort of independence will remain in the memories of Serbs as the time of mass killings, most brutal and wild fanaticism and their expulsion from that “free and independent state.”

In February 2003 Javier Solana paid a visit to Belgrade. As E.Guskova writes: “In a narrow circle, he made an offer to the Leaders of Serbia and Montenegro to acknowledge the fact of the closing existence of such a state as the Union Republic of Yugoslavia and adopt a Constitutional Charter, written somewhere in Europe, which signifies the overnight emergence of a new country.” He met with no resistance. February 4, 2003 the Union Skupcina (parliament) of Yugoslavia adopted the Constitutional Charter of the allied state of Serbia and Montenegro, and the legislation on its application. March 4-7, 2003 the first session of the new single-Chamber Skupcina of Serbia and Montenegro, established by the two member-states on the basis of their particular legislations, was convened. All Yugoslavian bodies of power were liquidated and new ones installed instead. Thus, in the early 2003 the Union Republic of Yugoslavia ceased to exist. Another state emerged on the ruins of Yugoslavia, that had no analogues in the modern system of international law, “the allied state” of Serbia and Montenegro.

The alliance did not have a common market or single currency, uniform taxes, duties, state budgets, hard currency reserves, finance ministry or the Central bank. Their common army was also liquidated. This was a condition of the admission of Serbia and Montenegro into the European structures, primarily the European Council. The constitutional Charter cooked in Brussels, envisaged actually the full division of the two republics linked together only by a small and weak administration. This state formation was to be operational for three years, after which Montenegro held a referendum on independence and embarked on its own free voyage, stumbling right off on the Albanian factor that had become more tangible. Boleslav Milosevic and many researchers of the Balkans called that the conclusive stage of the western plans of re-vamping the Balkans, or the “NATO-ization” of the region. In 2006 Serbia signed a number of key agreements with NATO and was included in the programme “Partnership in the Name of Peace”. As a matter of fact, the NATO occupation of the Balkans was completed, except for a little hitch: Kosovo is still de jure part of Serbia, so in the conditions of uncertainty to install there “serious” facilities is not desirable. So the United States goes out of its way to bring about the granting of independence to Kosovo, where a major U.S. military base Bondsteel near the city of Uroshevets occupies the territory of 775 hectares; it has barracks for 5,000 troops, a tank shooting range, a helicopter airfield, the runway, the radar and a satellite communications centre. The “Small Bondsteel” near Gnilane is designed to accomodate 2,000 troops, and Washington still thinks this is not enough…

The fact that the United States is now using the Albanian-Islamic factor as leverage to facilitate the revamping of the Balkans has long been known. At present, the interests of the U.S. geo-strategists coincide with the interests of ideologues of “The Great Albania.” Under discussion now is what is known as the “green transversale”, “green arch” of “Islamic belt “ around Europe, that has its origins in the Muslim part of Bosnia reaching out to Turkey, the Crimea and the Caucasus. Should Washington implement its plan, Europe would better “forget about its bright sunny days for ever.” Europeans would have nothing better to do than call for America to show its resolve. As for Russia, it would only have the least significant role in the identification of Kosovo’s would–be status. It should only participate in the solution of this issue as a standing member of the UN Security Council in order to attribute as much legitimacy as possible to the final solution.

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Shortly before the start of the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia former Director of the Slavonic Studies Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences V.K Volkov, who died untimely, wrote: “Speaking about Russia, after the Kosovo crisis it suffered serious losses in the geopolitical sense and is very near the point of losing the Balkans as the zone of its historic influence. It is noteworthy that the Kosovo crisis – and I ‘am quite confident of that - “coincided” with the heat of the financial and political crisis in Russia, the time when Russia was the most dependent on its Western creditors, thus being especially non-free in its foreign policy manoeuvres.”

In 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia went on for 78 days. Following that the time came for Russia, which had to play its almost traditional role of the one persuading Serbia to sign an agreement with NATO. After that, under NATO and especially the U.S. - wing, drug trafficking, sales of people and weapons began to flourish in Kosovo. Dozens of Orthodox churches that survived the Osman invasion were totally destroyed, and hundreds of others suffered serious damages. The terrorism-oriented Kosovo Liberation Army was “transformed” into the Kosovo Defence Corps, so that militant cutthroats became a legal force. At present the number of murdered and missing Serbs amounts to thousands, while international observers explain that “the standards worked out for Kosovo” are being implemented.

”Intentional activities or just mistakes made by the leaders of the Russian diplomacy cost us very dearly”- E.Guskova continues. –“The methods tested during the Balkans crisis are beginning to be applied to Russia.” Are there any analogies between the 1999 NATO-Yugoslavia talks, when Viktor Chernomyrdin forced the Serbs to agree to the NATO terms, and the present-day negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, brokered by the U.S. creature Martti Ahtisaari with Russia’s role unclear?

“As a candidate [for performing that role],- E.Guskova comments, - Chernomyrdin suited the West, as his deeds played into the hands of NATO and the United States, showing to America that Russia was about to depart from its course of confrontation with the West and would not counteract NATO plans. That was tantamount to the elbowing the professional diplomacy off to the background with the implementation of the chief objective of the United States and the Alliance to break up the uniformity of all efforts of Russian bodies of power. Viktor Stepanovich made a good job of playing the part he had been given, explaining to Serbs that Russia would not quarrel with the West over Yugoslavia so they should not expect help…”

Whether Americans would push the issue of Kosovo’s independence to take it through the channels of the UN Security Council, or should they strive to achieve that by-passing the United Nations, the way they did in 1999 attacking Yugoslavia, depends on Russia’s position. The “by-pass” version would look as follows: Kosovo will proclaim independence in June 2007, following which the United States and the “new-Europeans” (Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states - the buffer states in fact, or tampon-powers, as Serbs call them) would begin the process of recognition of independent Kosovo’s statehood.

In this connection we can recollect that the illegal unilateral recognition of Croatia and Slovenia by Germany in the 1990s resulted in a nightmare of the bloody war in the Balkans, from which the United States alone profited, while the about-face of then Prime-Minister Evgeni Primakov, when he ordered to fly his aeroplane home over the Atlantic became a symbol of Russia’s impotence and incapacity to influence the course of global processes.

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As things stand at the late March, 2007 the Kosovo position of the Russian diplomacy remains unchanged; the Russian side would not back any agreement on Kosovo at the UN Security Council unless it is agreed upon by both sides in question. It’s making curtseys to Pristina again – even though the Serbian Constitution is still in force and it’s written in it in black and white that Kosovo is an inalienable part of Serbia, and that’s all there’s to it! Full stop! Let Pristina itself solve its problems at the UN Security Council, including that of expulsion from the region of non-Albanians and the brutal destruction of monuments of Serbian culture! Why should Kosovars need Moscow’s help in this?

E.Guskova is confident that everything is ready for the resolving of the Kosovo issue, but not in Serbia’s favour:”…Preparations have been started in 1999, after NATO troops stepped on this land. In Kosovo and Metochia there is installed a different political, judicial and the administrative systems that are independent of the central authorities, that is Serbia, and any political forces arrive there without asking Belgrade for permission, no visas are required as they there have a different system of visa-granting, different passports, different licence plates on their cars, that is everything is in place for the two entities to exist side by side. What is necessary is to confirm it legally, but Serbia refuses to go for it… At present we are witnessing the unity of all Serbian political forces on the issue of resolving the problem of Kosovo and Metohia. If the political elite and political parties of different colours have serious disagreements concerning the future of their country, its orientation eastwards or westward, and its relations with international organisations and NATO, the political forces are now unanimous in their approach to the issue if Kosovo and Metochia.”

So Russia is now facing the question: what its attitude will be to the only European nation that has never marred its image supporting its enemies? Serbia that has never fought against Russia is asked to give up 15% of its territory just like that, whereas Russia is expected to persuade it agree to that! Here’s what an ordinary Russian woman living in Serbia said about it: “Why should Serbia give up something? The Greeks have not yet reconciled to the withdrawal of Cyprus…They should not recognise anything. It would be good to put the issue on cold and wait.” Exactly this: freeze it and wait! The next word is Russia’s. We should not speak for Pristina, as Washington has said everything for it. But Belgrade is waiting…And the wordless Russian “anything” at the UN Security Council would clearly indicate to Serbs exactly what Russians mean to them!

Moscow’s stance in the issue of determining the status of a small patch of Serbian land – Kosovo and Metochia – will become a moment of truth for Russia. The world would finally know the answer whether the Russian leadership is capable of putting an end to the spread of cancer of Kozyrev’s policies regarding the Balkans and how serious was President Putin in Munich, stating that the diktat of force in international relations is unacceptable.


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