Featured image: Italian NATO troops entering Serbian town of Stimje, draped with Albanian flags (Source: Fort Russ)
“Now that the global circumstances have changed, and when the United States and NATO are losing their influence, and while the powers that are in favor of preserving Kosovo and Metohija – such as Russia and China – are strengthening, we are nevertheless pursuing a policy of complete surrender.”
The aim of the internal dialogue conducted by the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, should be to distribute responsibilities and to be the cover for the final surrender of Kosovo and Metohija.
The government constantly assures us that it will never recognize Kosovo as an independent State, but here we must point out the following: they are not expected to announce to the public that Kosovo is an independent State and that we recognized it as such. Nobody is asking for such a clear acknowledgment from them. The problem is that they are instigating the independence of Kosovo by implementing their policies, without clearly defining and communicating to the public what they are actually doing.
If we agree that the so-called Kosovo independence depends exclusively on Serbia’s consent, and that without the consent of Serbia, the United States cannot implement a new Balkan map, the responsibility of the authorities in Belgrade becomes even greater.
I recently reviewed the book “WikiLeaks – Belgrade’s dispatches secrets” by author Nikola Vrzić, published in 2011, i.e. before the arrival of the Serbian Progressive Party to power. It analyzes the original confidential letters and reports of foreign diplomats that reveal the plans of the Western powers concerning the secession of Kosovo from Serbia, as well as the attitude of the previous democratic authorities on the issue.
The continuity of the wrong policy
At the very beginning of the book, the author describes the previous president and says that “he couldn’t decide between surrender, treason and fear of his own people, and that he willingly chose surrender and treason.”
If we disregard the fact that these words are dedicated to Boris Tadic, can we identify them today with the current president?
The author further analyzes the American strategy K1, by which they want to convince the Serbs that Kosovo does not matter to them. Is there a more vividly designed way than the one in which the President of the State of Serbia is saying that we should not celebrate and glorify defeats (thinking of the Battle of Kosovo) and praising the hero, the great military leader and strategist Murat, for whom “these people are not good enough to even be his adjutants “.
The WikiLeaks dispatches from 2007 clearly show that the EU officials require from Serbia to recognize Kosovo before joining the EU. The question arises as to whether Aleksandar Vucic discovered this fact only recently when he said in Arandjelovac that we have to make drastic changes in our attitude towards Kosovo in order to become a member of the EU. In his further statement to the press, he calls for a public debate, i.e. an internal dialogue that is being implemented, with already prepared solutions, and for Professor Kutlesic, who presented the idea of a “real union of Serbia and Kosovo” at the first roundtable organized for the internal dialogue on Kosovo.
Finally, we should also be reminded by this book of the model of two Germanys, already mentioned in 2007 by the German diplomacy as a solution that is offered to Serbia and which implies a model of coexisting with an independent Kosovo (something similar to what professor Kutlesic is generously suggesting to us). The author here commented that since 2008 Kosovo’s policy has been reduced to “a softly unconvincing implementation of the perverted Balkan variation of the two Germanys models in which Serbia does not recognize Kosovo by pushing Kosovo Serbs into the grip of Pristina. And only temporarily, until the final Serbian recognition of an independent Kosovo. In the name of endless EU integration”.
Not admitting the recognition
Now the question arises as to why many independent political analysts, as they present themselves, do not analyze the Kosovo policy of Serbia since 2012 in the light of the WikiLeaks dispatches from the previous period? Because they would come to the conclusion that the present government has made much bigger and bold steps towards the establishment of the Kosovo statehood and pushing the Serbs under the auspices of an independent Kosovo than the previous government.
It is completely clear that the policy of the West towards Serbia has not changed, but only the political figures in Serbia that have implemented such a policy have changed, and everything that has been done since 2012 is in line with the plan for fulfilling Kosovo’s independence.
Instead of pledging to cancel the agreements signed by the previous government, the Progressive party (SNS) signed the Brussels agreement, and now we can see that it committed itself to signing a comprehensive agreement on normalizing relations with Pristina, which should define a drastic change towards Kosovo, which means that Serbia should give up Kosovo. By signing such a treaty with Pristina, Serbia will recognize Kosovo.
Concerning the situation of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, it has also changed drastically since 2013 and the signing of the Brussels Agreement, and also since the dismantling of the barricades, setting a border and customs between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia, abolishing the institutions of the State of Serbia in the territory of the southern province, the integration of the police and the judiciary in the Kosovo system, the participation of the so-called “Serbian List” in the institutions that function under the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Kosovo, the allocation of the international telephone number to Kosovo and all other steps helping the implementation of the Kosovo independence.
An ethnically cleansed Serbian village in the Kosovo region of Serbia
Serbia turned its back on Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija
The desperate position of the Serbs is reflected in the following fact. The Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija have been facing many dangers threatening them from the Albanian side for years, but they were nevertheless resolved to stay in their homes and fight for the survival of the State of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija. However, when they felt that their home country had turned its back on them, that it had a hostile attitude toward their reluctance to become citizens of the Republic of Kosovo and left them in the struggle for survival, it was only then that they felt completely hopeless. I visited the Serbian enclaves in Kosovo and Metohija about a year after the signing of the Brussels Agreement, and the people of Gracanica, Orahovac and Velika Hoca told me that they had lost hope, and that since the signing of the Brussels Agreement, many Serbs decided to sell their homes.
On the other hand, we are witnessing that the Albanian side did not accomplish anything in the negotiation process that would benefit us, and they are not even ready to allow the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities that should function as a non-governmental organization within the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Kosovo.
Serbia is now in an absurd situation, bearing in mind the fact that we opposed NATO when that organization was at the peak of its power, as well as the United States, which was the only leading world power at that time.
Now that the global circumstances have changed, and when the United States and NATO are losing their influence, and while the powers that are in favor of preserving Kosovo and Metohija – such as Russia and China – are strengthening, we are nevertheless pursuing a policy of complete surrender.
At a time when the violent separation of Kosovo and Metohija from Serbia has triggered a wave of separatism in the EU, we are not questioning Brussels officials about their responsibility. When the aggressive US foreign policy led to historical migrations from the Middle East to Europe, due to the bombing and destruction of countries in the Middle East, we are not asking who is responsible for this? Who is responsible for the rise of terrorism in the world?
NATO occupying forces inspect the ‘work’ of their Albanian terrorist comrades who shelled this Orthodox church in Kosovo
Instead of asking questions, we want to accept the problems of Brussels and share them with them, although as a State, we do not have any responsibility for the problems that have arisen, in fact we are the damaged party ourselves.
The final moment
The only way to preserve Kosovo in Serbia and restore the sovereignty is to drastically examine the policy of European integration, because it is the key to everything. It is necessary to have an open dialogue on European integration in Serbia, and not Kosovo and Metohija, because we must, as a society, look at real facts about what kind of benefits Serbia can get by joining the EU and, on the other hand, what consequences we will suffer. We can see that the support for Serbia’s joining the EU has now increased, and that the United States has been determined to define the situation in the Balkans for its own benefit.
This is useful for them for many reasons: first of all, because of the obligation of Serbia to sign a peace agreement with Pristina, and on the other hand, it is their ideal way to separate Russia from Serbia and the Balkans, since the process of European integration is contrary to the development of relations with Russia. In the coming period, this will be a key task for the West, where the focus will shift to Serbia, because Serbia is a central country in the Balkans, and not a part of the Western Balkans as they represent us. Without interrupting the ties between Serbia and Russia, in the current geopolitical context, all the Western influence in the Balkans has been questioned so far. On the other hand, if Serbia breaks ties with Russia, it will lose every opportunity in the long run to preserve its sovereignty and integrity.
As a society, we must demand from the political leadership to declare the negotiations with Pristina in Brussels as failed, to request the return of the dialogue on Kosovo within the UN, and, with the help of International Law, the UN Resolution 1244 and our allies who also hold on to international law, to return to our negotiating positions and at the same time to establish an internal dialogue on the European integration.
Dragana Trifkovic is the director of the Centre for Geostrategic Studies (Belgrade, Serbia), and has written numerous articles on the geopolitics of the Balkans.
Translated by Svetlana Maksovic
All images in this article are from the author.