Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kosovo status talks: Serbia wins the second round

By Ferik F.
Balkan Update
Another round of International negotiation to determine the status of Kosovo has essentially ended, and Serbia won this round. Credit be given to whom it’s due, Serbia, who managed to postpone the independence of Kosovo, yet again, despite repeated promises by the E.U and the U.S that Kosovo would become independent this summer. Russia actually did the deed, but the fact that Serbia stood up to the E.U and U.S pressure is pretty amazing. Or another conclusion one could come to is that the E.U remains a spineless ‘superpower’ and does not dare challenge the rouge nation of Russia, while the U.S doesn’t really view the Independence of Kosovo as much of a big deal. Whichever conclusion you come to, either way, Serbia is the winner of this round.

As we all know, Kosovo was the winner of the first round when Ahtisaari recommended essential Independence a few months ago. This was not due to the skills of Kosovo leaders but a merely a recognition by Ahtisaari that Independence was the only realistic solution. But despite that, all Kosovo leaders were happy to claim credit. Some of them even promised Independence by May; while other insisted June was the correct month. Nobody really knows why on earth they would promise something they could not deliver, but it appears the U.S UNDERSECRETARY of State Chris Burns was the culprit. In numerous occasions he explicitly told Kosovo leaders that Kosovo would become independent by June. Long behold Mr. Burns is nowhere to be found now, while all Kosovo leaders are running for cover. They really look like the idiots they are. These people actually thought that Europe and U.S was going to deliver Independence on their plates, just like that. I have never seen such lack of leadership and gutlessness in my life.

Now, all it’s not done and Kosovo will probably become Independent this fall, but when it does, it will be despite of these leaders and not because of them. The third round of negotiation is critical in that it will determine whether Kosovo will actually become a real country or a banana republic. Serbia knows that it cannot really rule Kosovo again, but it will try to chop up the Ahtisaari plan as much as possible. Any further erosion of the Ahtisaari plan is a win for Serbia and a disaster for Kosovo. The question is whether the leaders of Kosovo have any guts in their stomach to say no to further compromises? I am convinced they don’t, but I hope I will be proven wrong. If EU tries to sweeten the deal for Serbia by watering down the Ahtisaari plan, it’s Kosovo’s turn to say no. After all Serbia did it (said no and nothing happen to her), why can’t Kosovo do the same?

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