Ian Bancroft has a great piece in the Guardian today about Kosovo.The EU is more divided than ever, Western donors propping up the territory are fed up with bankrolling it (their economies are in freefall), and now we are seeing some serious doublespeak from The Quint – the five principle pro-Kosovo powers:
The Quint – comprised of Britain, Germany, France, Italy and the US – recently sent a strongly worded communiqué to the Serbian foreign ministry, stating that “we have tolerated until now the Serbian aggressive rhetoric regarding Kosovo, because we believed that with time passing it could be taken off the agenda” and warning Serbia to abstain from “adventurous actions” once the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivers its verdict of the legality of Kosovo’s declaration of independence.It remains unclear exactly what the Quint meant by “aggressive rhetoric” and “adventurous actions”. Though Vuk Jeremic, Serbia’s foreign minister, has proposed a special session of the UN General Assembly following the ICJ’s verdict, with the aim of securing support for fresh negotiations over Kosovo’s status, such initiatives are in keeping with Serbia’s vow to pursue all peaceful, diplomatic and legal means to oppose Kosovo’s independence.
…As uncertainty over Kosovo’s status continues to mount, the president of the Kosovo assembly, Jakup Krasniqi, has indulged in further secessionist and “aggressive rhetoric” by warning that “ethnic Albanians in southern Serbia are ready to join Kosovo” should Serbs in the north of Kosovo continue to oppose integration into Pristina’s institutions. In response, Serbia’s state secretary for Kosovo and Metohija, Oliver Ivanovic, immediately called upon the international community to condemn such “warmongering”; a request that remains unanswered despite the severity and implication of Krasniqi’s remarks. In light of such threats, claims that Kosovo’s independence contributes to regional peace and stability seem ever more incredulous and insincere.
So Serbia is warned about “aggressive rhetoric” (for seeking legal recourse at he UN) whilst Kosovo Albanians calling for secession of Albanian areas of southern Serbia to not raise a peep of objection from the Quint. This is exactly the sort of double standard we have come to expect when it comes to Serbia.
The Serbian government, for once, is playing the international political game cleverly. It is driving its adversaries crazy. Look out for more absurd inversions of reality in the coming months as the Quint/Kosovo side tried to provoke Serbia into rash words or actions.
The Serbian government meanwhile is coolly maintaining its diplomatic and legal strategy. As for Kosovo, two years on, is in worse shape than ever. It is an unsustainable crime-infested Mafia-run political and economic cesspit. Its human rights record is abysmal. Its future bleak. And Kosovars know it too. They pay thousands of Euros to be trafficked out to Western Europe.
I would be happy to see the people of Kosovo get some decent politicians, a negotiated political settlement to the crisis, a booming economy and happy, safe minorities leaving peacefully there. I do not, however, think I will see any of this this for a long time. That is bad news for Serbia too unfortunately.