Serbia claims sovereignty over Kosovo

#1
Serbia's parliament has unanimously approved a new constitution that claims sovereignty over the UN administered province of Kosovo.
The move, passed during a special session of parliament, opposes calls for the ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo to be given independence.

Kosovo has been run by the UN since Nato intervened in 1999 to stop Serbia expelling the ethnic Albanian majority.

The proposed constitution will now face a referendum before it becomes valid.

Serbia's Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica, has indicated a referendum would also be followed by early elections, although he has not specified a date.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5395962.stm
 
#3
Can't blame them, after all Kosovo is a province of Serbia. Would Scotland let go of Engerland without a vote ;)
 
#5
I suspect that I am a little closer to the 'action' than most on this topic (PTP, feel free to confirm this by looking at my current ISP logs!!).

Serbia has never lost or conceeded 'sovereignty' of Kosovo. They were even prepared to go to war with NATO in 1999 to maintain this status. UN Resolution 1244 which brought a halt to the campaign specifically reiterated this fact:

Reaffirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the other States of the region, as set out in the Helsinki Final Act and annex 2,

Reaffirming the call in previous resolutions for substantial autonomy and meaningful self-administration for Kosovo,
What Serbia has lost, is not sovereignty, but governance of Kosovo.

Serbia is a 'new' state, in existance for just a matter of weeks. Previously, it was a republic within a federation: SRJ, SFRJ, FNRJ and so on. The last independant state of Serbia (almost 100 years back) covered a different and larger geographical area.

It is thus right and proper that Serbia should write and enact onto statute the legal status of its current existance. It is also quite right and proper that the constitution should reflect the 'actual' situation regarding territorial sovereignty and not some mythical - and possible future - status that others would wish it to be.

In no way does this even hint at an attempt by Serbia to reassert governance over the province of Kosovo forcibly or without the agreement of the international community.

I hope that has cleared up a few points.

Merkator
 
#6
Ah the good old Balkans always providing some excitement when you least expect it. Well the Jerrys and French will have to do all the work this time.
 
#7
dan_man said:
Ah the good old Balkans always providing some excitement when you least expect it. Well the Jerrys and French will have to do all the work this time.
Ah No; We still have a few platoons of chefs left (unemployed because of outsourcing in the UK) who can jolly well go and earn their money. That'll sort the buggers out.

JJ =|
 
#8
johnojohnson said:
dan_man said:
Ah the good old Balkans always providing some excitement when you least expect it. Well the Jerrys and French will have to do all the work this time.
Ah No; We still have a few platoons of chefs left (unemployed because of outsourcing in the UK) who can jolly well go and earn their money. That'll sort the buggers out.

JJ =|
If we can scrape the rear parties of all the deployed units together and get the wives to stag on in Colchester and Hohne and persuade the MPGS to sign up for 'foreign service' we should just have a battalion available.

Overstretched? No idea what you mean.
 
#9
hhhmmm this article does worry me a little.

I see that they haven't threatened to take it back by force but the article does state that the UN are still deciding what to do with it. If the UN decide that Serbia cannot take control of Kosovo and that the Albanian Kosovans have a right to self determination, what will Serbia then do? Just leave it at that? I think not.

But, if the UN say that Kosovo is part of Serbia and the Serbians decide that the Albanian Kosovans do not have any rights etc or try to move them I can see quite a bit of tension arising in this area. In fact I can see tensions rising just by the UN merely stating that Kosovo is part of Serbia, the Albanians will be getting a tad worried.

I have a feeling our Union insurers may not like the fact that we are sending 300 students hitchhiking to Serbia next year.
 
#10
Kosovo is part of Serbia - simple. More than that it represents something in the Serbian psyche that they will just not let go of. NATO, the UN, the EU, the Albanians, whoever - will find that any attempt to grant Kosovo independence, should it be demanded, is going to be almost impossible to get away with. The Serbs may be trying to re-invent themselves but push them too far and I believe that whatever happened in the 1990s in the Balkans would be mild by comparison to the way they would react if they thought they might lose Kosovo.
 
#11
I like the humour. But there's little chance that anybody is going to be called out for a winter stint in Pristina this year or next. Unless the Albanians step up their attacks on the northern part of Mitrovica.

The "Future Status" negotiations being conducted between Serbia and the Kosovo Albanians are, as one would expect, rather slow going. Serbia is naturally trying to obtain the most favourable result for itself, and likewise, so are the Kosovo Albanians. No surprise there. However, the problem is the International Community who are supposed to be acting as the 'honest broker' in all this, but are, in reality, simply trying to obtain the most favourable outcome for themselves. Thus, every discussion is being steered in not two but three directions, with the International Community's position being the most complicated. Even if the Serbs and the Kosovo Albanians reach an agreement, if it's not liked by the International Community, they'll simply refuse to ratify it. Absurd I know. But there you go!

The International Community would dearly love to sweep the entire messy Balkans under the carpet. Then they can concentrate on the really serious issues, such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran. The quickest, and by far the simplest option, is to simply rule that Kosovo is to become an independant sovereign state. All well and good, and advocated by many an academic. Trouble is, if they do that without Serbia's consent, they will then be breaking one of the basic tenets of modern foreign policy: the Helsinki Final Act, 1975. Moreover, they will be contradicting their immoveable stance regarding Croatia, Bosnia and Iraq. In none of these case would the International Community even consider discussing the possibility of the breakup of a recognised state. It was a non-negotiable topic. Bosnia Serbs must live in Muslim dominated Bosnia, Kurds must live in Shia dominated Iraq and so on...

And then there's a second point which affects some, but not all in the International Community. All the time that there is an apparent problem in Kosovo, some states can justify stationning troops in a far cheaper (politically and financially) and safer 'troublespot' at the expense of, say, reinforcing NATO in Afghanistan. Anyone spot that one?

There are many other points too. I can go for hours, but I fear that'll only bore you to tears... Ooopps! Wake up, I've finished!!!! :) :)
 
#12
merkator said:
The quickest, and by far the simplest option, is to simply rule that Kosovo is to become an independant sovereign state.
Btw, pres.Putin noted that in this case Russia would recognise independence of some breakaway regions in former Soviet Union (Abkhazia and Siuth Ossetia for example).

He argued that unilateral decision about Kosove would be used as a model, as an example.
 
#13
If Kosovo becomes Kosova then the shite hits the fan big time. Serbs, Greeks and Turks in Bulgaria will demand to be "reunited" with their old countries. BiH will split into at least 3 parts and their neighbours will want to absorb the parts (Croatia wants the NW of the Country, Serbia wants the RS). Albanians living in Macedonia will want to become part of Kosovo, Albania will try and claim rights over all albanian populations. Then Hungarians in northern Serbia (the autonomous region of Vojvodina) will want reuniting with Hungary, as will ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania and Slovakia. Hungary will push for the Triannon Agreement to be revoked. The Italians can ask for 1/3 of Slovenia, and the Germans can demand parts of Czech and Poland.

Spain is already looking as though it will break up into Catalonia, Aragon and other regions, the Basques will demand their little piece of Spain and France, The Jocks and the Taffs become fully independant, Corsica becomes independant and there is a scrap between the Swiss, Italians, Austrians and the French about bits of land lost to each other over the last few wars.

Obviously some of the above are gross exaggerations (can you spot which?), however some are not.

Where is the line drawn?
 
#14
merkator said:
I suspect that I am a little closer to the 'action' than most on this topic (PTP, feel free to confirm this by looking at my current ISP logs!!).

Merkator
I spent a few days in Belgrade this summer, and I must saw I felt safer walking around at night there , than I do back home.

Although I was told by a group of fellow backpackers, that the people they had sharing with took off the panels of their carriage to remove the guns they had been smuggling when the train pulled into Belgrade.
 

diplomat

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#15
Rumour has it that current Serbian government will shortly resign. International community will resolve final status for Kosovo. It will take 3 months for Serbian elections and formation of new government (with Xmas and New Year further delaying formation).

Therefore the current bunch of Serbian politicians can throw up their hands in horror about the final status imposed by the international community and claim there was nothing they could do as they were not in government when Kosovo was 'lost'.

Makes even Bliar and his mates look reasonable doesn't it!!
 
#16
diplomat said:
Rumour has it that current Serbian government will shortly resign.
No rumour. Was announced officially a couple of days back.

A little background. The broad democratic coalition government headed by Kostunica (DSS/G17/SPO/NS) has been a minority government since day one of their term. Not ideal, but the Democratic Party (DS) proved to be less 'democratic' than their name suggests, and showed their true colours by refusing to compromise and join in. At least the most popular party in Serbia, the radical SRS, were kept out.

Even though there have been repeated calls for the DS or SRS to bring the government down - which they could do if they combined forces - the DS realised this would destroy any future chance they had of future office. So Kostunica's government ambled forward at snail's pace. He, Kostunica, has always maintained that he will call new elections once the new constitution had been implimented.

Now its in law, the door is open for the long expected elections.

diplomat said:
International community will resolve final status for Kosovo.
'Resolve' or 'impose'?

diplomat said:
Therefore the current bunch of Serbian politicians can throw up their hands in horror about the final status imposed by the international community and claim there was nothing they could do as they were not in government when Kosovo was 'lost'.
Kosovo's status, and this is my prediction, will not be 'resolved' by the end of this year. The next government will be formed around a DS core, or if the International Community decides to get tough, the SRS. If the latter occurs, then things will really turn nasty. Considering that President Tadic is also the leader of DS, he, and his party will have a bit of difficulty blaming the problem on a previous government.

An SRS government will without fail blame everything on the past and the international community, and if they do come to power, that's when HM Armed Forces need to think about winters in Kosovo once more.
 
#17
wibblefishbanana said:
Can't blame them, after all Kosovo is a province of Serbia. Would Scotland let go of Engerland without a vote ;)
It's not. Kosovo is a independent state which was part of the federation of Serbian states.
 
#18
Mike_2817 said:
No but England let go of Scotland without one, and still pays most of the bills!
Totally incorrect. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have a form of devolved government which allows them to decide where certain funding from their allocation goes. Tax is still paid direct to the exchequer. These regional assemblies have no power over internal security, national security, employment, taxation, pensions and many other aspects of national government. That's why they all have MP's at Westminster.
 
#19
GDav said:
wibblefishbanana said:
Can't blame them, after all Kosovo is a province of Serbia. Would Scotland let go of Engerland without a vote ;)
It's not. Kosovo is a independent state which was part of the federation of Serbian states.
Kosovo is only an independant state as a result of being run by the UN since 1999.

It has always been a massive part of the Serbian national psyche, ever since the Serbian Army was defeated by the Otttomans on the 'Field of Blackbirds', or as most of us know it, 'Kosovo Polje' in 1689.

The main problem is, like most traditional myths, it lives larger in the minds of those who would use it for their own nefarious purposes than in the minds of people firmly rooted in the dull, dreary reality of Balkan life.
I know of one case where Serbs were forced to resettle in Kosovo, and threatened to kill the bus driver when their final destination was revealed!

The main problem for the Serbian nationalists is that they have already lost all their other former dominions, and even Montenegro has voluntarily seceeded from the fold of the Motherland. The best hope is that the average Serbian squaddie can't be arssed to start yet another scrap over a muddy potato field and that the national govt recognises the utter futility of making a stand. However, rationality as never been a key recognition feature in Balkan politics. Combined with the fact that the international community is sorely stretched elsewhere and thoroughly bored with nonsense in the Balkans (which, to be honest, is mostly of the same international community's own making) there may well be the chance of a limited diplomatic spat on the horizon. As has already been keenly demonstrated elsewhere, the overstretch currently being felt by the main players in the NATO alliance has encouraged several nutters to get on their hind legs. Chances are our Serbian buddies are following a well established pattern in that respect.
 
#20
GDav said:
Mike_2817 said:
No but England let go of Scotland without one, and still pays most of the bills!
Totally incorrect. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have a form of devolved government which allows them to decide where certain funding from their allocation goes. Tax is still paid direct to the exchequer. These regional assemblies have no power over internal security, national security, employment, taxation, pensions and many other aspects of national government. That's why they all have MP's at Westminster.
wibblefishbanana said:
Can't blame them, after all Kosovo is a province of Serbia. Would Scotland let go of Engerland without a vote ;)
Totally not bothered - It was a tongue in cheek reply to "wibblefishbanana" and his equally 'tongue in cheek' comment.........
 

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