Monday, May 22, 2006

Interview with the Chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation Steven Heinz

How do you see the solution for the future status of Kosovo?

“Without wishing to opt for any of the possible options, I must,nevertheless,
say that the reality is such that Kosovo will most probably become independent.
In that sense, it should be dealt with the manner in which this process can be
managed so Serbs in Kosovo could reach a satisfying status so their
municipalities would have wide self-government and so they would have
enough means from Belgrade at their disposal.”

What is the biggest danger on the day after the decision on the status of Kosovo?

“If everybody doesn’t join that process, the biggest danger is that Kosovo
Albanians will experience the myth that independence will be a solution for all of
their problems – but it won’t. The Serb side will experience the myth that
independence of Kosovo, if it occurs, will represent a cataclysmic outcome of
those negotiations.”

Part of the international community considers “limited sovereignty” to be the
most certain form of the future status of Kosovo, but for Belgrade that is far
from the best possible solution?

“I think that is precisely what we have today. It is obvious that Belgrade isn’t
managing Kosovo at present, that UNMIK has the final say, where the local
authorities in the province have an increasing role. I think that such a model of
“limited sovereignty” or “conditional independence,” whatever we call it, is not
good in long terms, as it leaves too many problems unresolved.”

Still, is it possible to resolve all those problems by the end of the year?

“No, surely not all of them. Some problems will be resolved, while resolving some
of them will be postponed, but that is the nature of politics. That is how things are

If you were a politician in Serbia, how would you announce to the citizens
that Kosovo would become independent?

“It is difficult for anyone who is not a Serb to answer that question. I think
there are Serb politicians who would probably be ready to say that we
should concentrate on the priorities with such an outcome: and this is
security and protection of Serbs in Kosovo.

If I were in the position of Serb politicians, in case of such an outcome,

I would insist on the economic aspect of the entire issue. Therefore,
that is in the interest of Serbia itself. If we wish to fulfill all standards
from the corpus of European standards on the road towards integrations
to the EU and if Kosovo is a factor that is holding us on that road, then
let’s concentrate on the future, no matter how painful it is and how
much we regret losing Kosovo.”


Serbs In Kosovo are in Danger said...

His advice for Serb leaders on how discuss Kosovo independece is to say "It's good for your wallet?" Serbs are a religous people, do you expect them to gladly give up their Holy Land for money? That is outrageous.

Balkan Update said...

So what if Serbs are religous people?
Make Serbia a religous state then!