(Volume 25 Issue 3)
By His Excellency Mihailo Papazoglu
True, just above 100 countries recognised Kosovo Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) ten years ago, but recently some three of those revoked it - Guinea Bissau, Surinam and Burundi. I am not saying this is a trend but it is a reality. Kosovo officials are denying it; explaining that recognition cannot be revoked. That is fake reality.
Reality of “ten years after in Kosovo” is completely different - defined by the most recent “signature” killing of a prominent democratic Serbian leader. In such a clan-based society, a high profile political assassination could not happen without “somebody pushing the button”. We consider it as a terrorist act and as a message to the other 220,000 Serbian Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) expelled from Kosovo in 1999 that they will never return to their homes. First consequence of slaying Oliver Ivanovic is that his family moved to Belgrade for good.
Part of the problem is that almost all Albanian political leaders from Kosovo are former warlords. There is no such example in Balkans!
Their fear of prison is the main reason for the Albanian refusal to cooperate with International tribunal that is set up to bring justice for war crimes perpetuated by the UCK guerrilla over Serbs and non-Albanians. Hope that this is enough arguments for those who consider voting in favour of Kosovo joining Interpol.
Unfortunately, the practice of copy-pasting reports from internationals organisations in Kosovo throughout last ten years was not helpful either. The reality is this, as well as unwarranted embellishments of the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, could not cover the stalemate.
Another danger is Kosovo’s wish to create an army or “big Albania” by unifying Kosovo with Albania is an obvious casus belli. If there is no big Croatia or big Serbia, there should not be big or bigger Albania. Pretty much all the countries in the region are against it. Just recently, Kosovo’s PM Haradinaj obtained Albanian citizenship through an urgent procedure. Four high level Albania’s government officials are from Kosovo (ministerial level). A smoking gun? There is no such thing as good or bad nationalism - they should all be addressed with firm opposition.
On the other hand, support of China and Russia over blocking Kosovo accession in the UN and other international organisation is often presented as a cliché of East-West cleavage here in Canada. But the reality is that another almost 100 countries did not recognise UDI: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Chile. These are states far from our region and no Serbs live there, yet they opposed it.
Further, by intervention of five EU countries that did not recognise UDI: Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Spain, Kosovo is, if not set out, then set a side from EU WB Enlargement strategy. We see that not as a will to create another frozen conflict but as incentive for Albanian leaders in Kosovo to continue dialogue with Belgrade in a way to find solution together with us. As a frontrunner in EU enlargement for 2025, together with Montenegro, Serbia should not be punished for unwillingness or unpreparedness of Albanian leadership from Kosovo to strike a deal.
We expect Canada to encourage Albania to approach these negotiations in good faith but not by looking over its shoulders for others to put more pressure on Serbia. That is why we confirmed in writing our support for Canada’s candidacy for a UN Security Council (SC) non-permanent seat. We hoped if an agreement could be reached by that time, it could be supported by Canada within SC. International guarantees would be certainly part of the deal.
We are ready for a historical deal, not for a defeat of any of our two sides. That is why recognition of Kosovo’s UDI is not an option for us. For all politicians involved in this process there is an opportunity to become true statesman’s in the interest of better life for people of both nations. This rationale should not be easily discarded. In the Balkans, moments like this are too rare to be wasted.