About three weeks ago, Senator Hillary Clinton made clearly false statements about her adventures in Tuzla, Bosnia. She went there twelve years ago to meet with the American troops who were on a mission regarding the Serbian-Bosnian conflict. Her false story can be listened to on Youtube and can be read on different websites as well. The media showed the video which revealed the truth about the then First Lady’s visit to Tuzla.
Today is 21 February 2008: four days after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia without waiting to be recognized first. The whole world, and especially the Balkans, is watching things in Kosovo very carefully and now we see reactions that were initially expected – even before 17 February 2008. Spain, Romania, Slovakia, Cyprus and Greece oppose Kosovo’s declaration of independence; Serbia, Russia and China firmly oppose it; USA, UK, France, Germany, Slovenia, Afghanistan and Turkey recognize it; Bulgaria, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have not decided what their positions are yet. The question is whether those reactions are justified or not. Continue reading
The Serbian province of Kosovo, with capital Pristina, is expected to declare independence on 17 February 2008. Kosovo’s Albanian majority wants to separate the province from its belonging to the territory of Serbia and continue its existence as an independent country. However bright Pristina’s ambitions look at first sight, the entire procedure is rather long and delicate. Even if Kosovo declares independence on 17 February 2008 and thus become an independent country, gloomy days await its people. Internationally, most EU countries and the U.S. support an independent Kosovo, but Serbia and Russia firmly oppose it. After it lost Montenegro in 2006, Serbia will not easily let another part of its territory separate from it. Belgrade already came out with a warning – if Kosovo becomes independent, there will be high taxes imposed by the Serbian government to Kosovans who would like to enter Serbia for whatever reasons. I assume that other inconveniences to Pristina will be imposed. Kosovo may be denied good relations with Serbia in terms of business and any other kind of support that is common between countries such as humanitarian aid, for example. The latter is needed in Kosovo since there is high unemployment rate, about 40% of the population, and common needs such as water and electricity are not being delivered on a permanent basis. What people who are not involved in the conflict would ask themselves in this case is why the Albanian majority in Kosovo would want independence since the living conditions are harsh. The answer lies in the 1999 war there when Serbian troops entered the province and tried to banish the Albanian population. I believe that their not wishing to be subordinate to a government whose troops tried to expatriate them is what caused their decisiveness in creating a new state.