[Editor’s note: The Balkans has long been the tinderbox of Europe, most notably in 1914 when the murder of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo provided the spark that ignited the most terrible war yet seen. Serbia is a slavic, Christian Orthodox nation, and today is as closely tied to Russia as it was a century ago.
Kosovo is historically Serbian territory and it contains several sites of massive cultural importance to Serbians, therefore Kosovan independence is a very inflammatory issue in Serbia. This means that Kosovo is the likely flashpoint for a re-ignition of the wars that ravaged the region in the 1990s and early part of this century.
The EU has been trying hard in recent years to draw Serbia closer and there is a movement to draw Serbia into NATO. I believe the underlying reason for these moves is to remove from Russia it’s Balkan ally, part of the ongoing assault on Russia by the West.
The Kosovan Muslims are backed by the West, which means they are ripe for manipulation by the US and Israel and it would be easy to incite them into attacking the Kosovan Serbs, a move which would inevitably result in Serbian intervention. Already, some Serbs believe the attacks on Kosovan Serbs have been carried out at the behest of Kosovo’s Western patrons.
This scenario holds the potential to quickly escalate into a wider war as Russia and China would back Serbia should she come under direct assault by Western forces who may attack Serbia under the pretext of defending the Kosovans. So it is easy to see how the Balkans remains a tinderbox waiting for a spark. Ian]
Serbia and the Kosovo issue: if you want peace, prepare for war
On March 26, armed militants attacked peaceful assembly of Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica, dozens were beaten up severely. Director of the Serbian Office for Kosovo and Metohija Marko Djuric was detained violently. Later, he was deported from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.
That violent attack by Kosovo separatists should become the final nail in the coffin with “remains of legally-binding agreement of Belgrade and Pristina.” Hopefully, myths of sooner historical reconciliation of Serbs and Albanians on Serbia’s path to EU will be buried in that coffin as well. Such illusions cherished by Serbs for the recent months have been broken by hardline policy of U.S. and EU in the Balkans.
It is high time to recall another notorious agreement called the Brussels Agreement. On April 19, 2013, U.S. and EU set an ultimatum to Serbia making it remove the Kosovo peace process from UN Security Council and transfer it to the European Union. Moscow silently approved that decision to the strains of well-known political mantra “Russians cannot be more Serbs than Serbs.” Yet, at that moment, Russia was well-aware that such “clean-up of Kosovo issue” would pave the wave towards West’s expansionist aspirations in Ukraine. Eventually, in November 2013, Euromaidan started in Kiev.
What is hidden behind the “legally-binding agreement” on Kosovo’s secession? It is evident that the West’s next tasks to Serbia will be anti-Russian sanctions and start of Serbia’s accession to NATO. Besides, Serbia will have to pass a package of European standards related to gender law and the rights of LGBT minorities. The first two will result in collapse of Serbian statehood and national policy, whereas the last one will ruin principles of the Serbian society.
Evidently, the Serbian-Albanian hasty reconciliation amid ultimatums of U.S. and EU is an illusion and a dangerous trap for Serbia and the Balkans.
What may be further steps and principles in the Kosovo settlement?
The first is transition from diplomatic defense to offensive. It has become obvious during the last five years that Brussels is unable to manage the Kosovo settlement process impartially. New formats will emerge. Serbia has good chances to shift from defensive diplomatic tactics to offensive one. To that end, Serbia will need to stop cherishing illusions about “European integration” and use resources of strategic parties and allies of Serbia, first of all, Russia, China and other countries not recognizing Kosovo.
The second principle is “if you want peace, get prepared for war.” Kosovo separatists should comprehend that any unlawful actions and provocations against the Serbian population of the region will result in inevitable crushing blow by Serbia. Neither U.S. nor other Western patrons will save the Kosovans committing bloody crimes against Kosovo Serbs. Golden rule of inevitable retaliation proved efficient when destroying terrorist groups in the territory of Russia, in Syria. It is a corner-stone of Israel’s policy. Russian-Serbian military and technical cooperation is a good basis for this policy. It is not 1999 now and high-precision weapons, radio-electronic and other weapons are supplied to Serbia on quite different principles. Nevertheless, political will and determination of Serbia’s leadership to ensure territorial integrity of the country and create real security guarantees for the Serbian people remain an overriding factor in this issue.
Serbian politician: Everything has just started in Kosovo
Serbia has been committed to dialogue with Pristina for years and mostly acted to the detriment of its national and state interests. Belgrade have implemented all the terms of the Brussels Agreement, whereas within five years, the self-proclaimed Kosovo pseudo-state has failed to implement even a single commitment i.e. to form Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo. Milica Jurjevic, a member of Zavetnici Party made such statement to EADaily. Despite all concessions of Serbia, the Kosovo separatists showed that they do not want to make an agreement and concessions, she said.
Jurjevic recalled that Belgrade has been experiencing permanent pressure within the recent months. They seek to make Serbia sign the legally-binding agreement with Pristina, formally and de-jure recognize the so-called independence of Kosovo and agree on its accession to UN. Albania keeps threatening it with intervention into the north of Kosovo and Metohija, where overwhelming majority of population are Serbs. It is a strategically important territory, the Serbian politician said. According to Jurjevic, murder of one of the Kosovo Serbs’ representatives Oliver Ivanovic (on Jan 16, 2018) was used by Pristina government as a reason to declare that territory instable and take it under control of pseudo-state.
“Yesterday’s terror attack in Kosovska Mitrovica was committed by the Pristina government and orchestrated by their Western patrons. The goal was to corner Serbs and force them to make more concessions. They demonstrated violence to create an impression that they control everything in the north and south of the Ibar River,” Milica Jurjevic said.
“How can they discuss prolongation of talks with Separatists under aegis of Brussels, if head of the Serbian delegation was publicly attacked in Pristina streets, the Serbian politician asked rhetorically?
“Evidently, European Union has lost its authority and can no longer be a legitimate mediator in further talks. Considering that U.S. both directly and indirectly participates in the Kosovo settlement, the only way out for Serbia may be a new format of talks involving Russia — its lawyers, diplomats and experts in geopolitics,” she said.
The politician believes that Serbia needs to prevent formation of the so-called army of Kosovo. The UN SC Resolution 1244 on Kosovo does not mention such ‘army’, and if created, it will become a legal terror group in the territory of southern Serbia, Milica Jurjevic said. “Many thought that political processes in Kosovo have ended, but I think that everything has just started,” she said for conclusion.
As EADaily reported on March 26, Marko Djuric was seized by militants of the ROSU unit in Kosovska Mitrovica, then taken to Pristina and deported from Kosovo. After the incident, members of the Serb List party at the «parliament» of the separatist territory decided to leave Pristina-controlled power institutions and to establish the Community of Serb Municipalities on their own. Under the 2013 Brussels Agreement, Kosovo Serbs must unite in an association which has been strongly opposed for five years already by the separatist authorities.