Monday, July 02, 2007

Independence Knocking on Kosovo's Door

Kosovo is currently a Serbian province under the jurisdiction of the United Nations and protection of NATO forces. While everyone agrees on what the current status of Kosovo is, no one can agree on what Kosovo's future will hold.

The United Nations plan for Kosovo's independence has been a long time coming. There is one thing standing in the way of a future ethnic Albanian state: Slavs. The Slavish Serbs in Kosovo deeply oppose separation from Serbia. They fear that a free Kosovo would join Albania The Serbs point to the fact that the current Kosovar military and local government uses the Albanian flag and Albanian national anthem. The international community is trying to make the ethnic Serbs feel included but little is likely to result from the effort.

The greater Slavic opposition comes from the "big brother" of the Serbs: Russia. Russia deeply opposes anything that would damage the Slavish image. Russia has threatened to veto any United Nations resolution granting Kosovo its independence. Stratfor recently published an article on how there are fears Russia would repeat itself by sending troops into Kosovo to stop independence. This action could potentially cause a rebirth of the Kosovo Liberation Army (whose "former" members now are in the Kosovo Protection League). If this happends expect Chechnya in Europe.

The situation in Kosovo is not clear cut. On the one side you have the ethnic Serbs whose government engaged in ethnic cleansing and picked the wrong side in the geopolitical arena. The ethnic Albanians on the other hand engaged in terrorism, formed alliances with Muslim terrorist groups, and after the Kosovo war launched an attack on Serbia.

For now the status of Kosovo is in the war, an internet war with YouTube videos battling it out continues, and a world awaits. The "international community" backs independence, Moscow's neo-satellites oppose, and Kosovo is the pawn.

1 comment:

¡Benjaminista! said...

One compromise solution I've heard bandied about is Kosovo ceding its northern part, which contains the Serb holy places, to Serbia in exchange for recognition of independence. The fear is though, Russia could use this as a precedent to demand the "ceding" of places like Abkhazia from Georgia.