Enforcing Kosovo’s “Independence”: NATO Sends Troops to Kosovo
Kosovo: hot spot again
NATO has sent 700 troops to Kosovo…near the Serbian border as Erhard Bühler, Commander of KFOR, fears that a recent outbreak of border violence can breach bilateral [Serbia-Kosovo] dialogue and hamper Serbia’s integration into the EU.
In late July, Albanian special police forces seized the border posts at Brnjak and Yarin. Armed Serbs pushed them out and burnt the posts, killing one Albanian and several Serbs were injured. Later they built barricades to prevent transport and people getting in.
These local clashes triggered Kosovo’s refusal to stick to an agreement on normalizing border relations signed with KFOR. The latter envisages international control over troubled posts for six weeks until local Serbs dismantle the barriers.
Expert on the Balkans crisis Elena Guskova believes that the return of NATO military presence to the region is a warning sign:
“The global community breached all the rules a long time ago when the Yugoslavia crisis began in 1990. The independence of Kosovo is another violation and Russia sticks to this position together with China their non-recognition of the Republic of Kosovo in the UN. Russia can vote for independence only if Belgrade acknowledges it, but Serbia doesn’t give up whcih is why the Kosovars are resorting to violence. This will negatively affect all international relations and hurt international law and stability in Europe. However this doesn’t stop the US, the Albanians and NATO.”
Kosovo is the most painful issue for Serbia, which craves EU membership. The country has already extradited ethnic Serbs accused of war crimes during the 1990s Yugoslav war to the Hague Tribunal for Yugoslavia but refuses to recognize Kosovo’s independence, which is one of the entry conditions. The breakaway region has [only] been recognized by 70 countries, but Serbia can’t relinquish its territory owned in line with the Constitution, and where Serbs are bullied by Albanians.
Serbia’s FM Vuk Jeremic states that Serbia’s position is firm and is based on international law, but the country is ready for talks on Kosovo’s status within the Constitution. The current dialogue was to better the life of ordinary people in Kosovo but now it may be breached. The West is also being troubled by Kosovo which is now the main route for drug traffickers and criminal business and is becoming a bigger pain in the neck.
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