Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Kosovo will become independent the hard way, or the right way'' Michael Polt, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia

Monday, May 28, 2007

To Russia with Love

So which one is it, no solution until September or a solution on Friday, June 1. It seems like the UN Resolution will be put for voting that day. This last one has been fed by diplomats close to the negotiations to respectable media such as Koha Ditore in Prishtina and Blic in Belgrade. Add to that Jutarni List's Moscow source saying that an agreement is close and we may see Russia coming back to the Balkans for peacekeeping and Kosovo independent with a UN seat after a two year moratorium. Yupi! 

I don't mind Russians in Serb enclaves as long as Americans, Brits and Germans are protecting the borders. Otherwise Russians will turn into a Trojan horse. They could also find themselves into a hostile sea of Albanians, giving US some ammunition to work on local and global matters vis-a-vis Russia.

For the Serb population in enclaves this is as damaging as it gets. They will still not have any incentive to cooperate with their Albanian neighbors and will be left hanging hoping against the inevitable. They will be pawns once again. My hope that status resolution will be a wake up call for them will be postponed for at least another two years. 

Since it's always easier to criticize something you are not part of, Russian presence in Serb enclaves will take away all the ammunition away regarding the security of the enclaves. At the same time, the two levels of security from the Serb perspective between "us" and "the rest" will stop Serbs from venturing out into the "wild."   

Last time Russians would engage in black market trade of cigarettes and gasoline with the local Albanian population. Yeah, Albanians were capable of buying armaments from the valiant Serbs fighting for the cradle of Serbdom, let alone poor Russian soldiers living thousand of miles away from home on a mission that surprisingly seemed more noble from far away. Very soon their mission will turn stale and they will go home just like the first time around. But in order to go, they will have to announce mission accomplished first.  


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Monday, May 21, 2007


That's the likelihood of an agreement between Prishtina and Belgrade. So why does Russia insist on an agreement between the parties that is impossible?

Remember the previous agreements between Serbs and their opponents? There aren't any. Ok, there are some, but they were all preceded by air force raids so they don't count. Last one around made a mess of Belgrade for 11 weeks. Before bombings began, negotiations went on for years while thousands perished and Sarajevans starved under the siege. With no Sarajevo siege in the world news, what's the chance of an agreement? 0.

Sometimes I wonder if Kosovo won't find peace unless something akin to the Krajina campaign happens. Once and for all. To be done with it. It's not politically correct, I know, but at the back of my brain the urge is so strong to be done with it once and for all.

Last time around I was just a powerless child found at the mercy of thugs around me. My family and I were spared as insurance for the thugs, in case anyone dared to attack them. I promised myself that if I made it out alive, I wouldn't stay without a gun by my side.

Now as I clench my hands target shooting the fine USP, I know its my small contribution towards recovering myself from that moment of helplessness eight years ago. It's been a while. 

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Friday, May 18, 2007

BBC | EU-Russian talks end in acrimony


In a BBC interview after the summit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the future status of Kosovo should be decided by the Serbian people.

Huh?! I want to ask what is he smoking, but I won't.

Source: BBC NEWS | Europe | EU-Russian talks end in acrimony


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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Indonesia is in

Indonesia is one of the 57 countries to have supported a resolution in the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers in Islamabad calling for the independence of Kosovo. Along with Indonesia, Qatar is another rotating member of the UN Security Council and already a strong supporter of the coming UN resolution. Indonesia is concerned about Muslim-majority provinces of its own, says daily Express. This block would give Kosovo 57 votes of support in the UN General Assembly, where 2/3 of the 192 members states must support Kosovo's membership in the organization.

UN's Secretary General and Kosovo and US diplomats are still working on isolating Russia's likely veto in the Security Council.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

IOL: Madiba proclaimed honorary citizen

Serbs have proclaimed Mandela honorary citizen of Belgrade for his peace contributions and such. Let's see if Albanians can outdo them. That South Africa UN vote is very important for both people. Albanians can already relate their time under Serb apartheid with that of the black South Africans. I'm sure Serbs have found themselves in the story as well, or are working on it as I blog.  

Link to IOL: Madiba proclaimed honorary citizen

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Serb PM-elect warns Kosovo against unilateral independence

 There is good news from Serbia. A government has been put into place with the major reigns of power in the hands of the more mellow President Tadic's party. Tadic has repeatedly ruled out a violent response to an independent Kosovo.

Kostunica warned again about independence, but now that he doesn't control the army and the secret services, chances for a peaceful transition are better. Kostunica will still control the police, an institution that has been harassing Albanians that live in the Presheva Valley on the Serbia-Kosovo border, and tradionally an institution of terror. But hey, we're used to keeping our expectations low. 

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Monday, May 14, 2007

International Crisis Group - Kosovo: No Good Alternatives to the Ahtisaari

Two key recommendations from ICG's latest report:

(a)  modify aspects of the Ahtisaari plan, by creating a Special Envoy for Minorities, and setting a two-year moratorium before Kosovo can apply for UN membership; and/or

(b)  adopt a resolution which endorses Ahtisaari’s Proposal but not his Report.

If there are no alternatives to the Ahtisaari proposal, then why tweak it? Right now Kosovo needs all the support it can get. Creating solutions for the sake of battered egos is not responsible diplomacy. At any event, after the people of Kosovo, it will be the Europeans who will have to deal with the consequences of solutions less than the best possible. 

Source: International Crisis Group - Kosovo: No Good Alternatives to the Ahtisaari


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Serbia Eurosong

Is the Serbia Eurosong winner a copycat of an Albanian song from last year?

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discusses what Kosovo should do in the first 120 days after independence. May 2007, Rockefeller Brothers, New York.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tumbling Kosova

Ello Free Kosova blog readers. I have a new project up and running at Tumblr. Tumblr is a blogging platform specializing in snippet posts and self voyeurism. I intend to use only their first specialty due to the need to bring together interesting Kosovo related stuff (pics, quotes, links, articles) from across the web without having to make sense of any of it. Tumbler will also collect posts automatically (links with a short description; hope it's ok with the authors) from  blogs already linked to in this blog.     

Pieces of Kosovo (

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Last Minute Diplomacy

Diplomatic activity is on the rise as we get closer to the new UN Ahtisaari vote. Veton Surroi has been to Panama and returned with their vote for the Ahtisaari plan. Another member of his party and Kosovo delegation member went to Qatar. He also has secured its support for the Ahtisaari plan. Indonesia is still undecided. There is talk that Indonesia might come on board through an Islamic Conference joint support for the plan.
On the other hand, Kosovo Serb Orthodox Bishop visited South Africa, which is still undecided. Several weeks ago Serbia foreign minister Draskovic assured his public decisively that he had secured the South Africa vote against independence, but apparently he didn't since there was need to do it again. SA UN ambassador stated after the visit to Kosovo that one visit is not enough and they are still thinking about it.
So there it is, a likely Indonesia pro vote, and South Africa is still undecided.


UN visit was better than Prishtina hoped for. The atmosphere was relaxed with no bombs going off whatsoever (I lost the bet). There was an attempt at some theater on the Serbia-Kosovo border by Kosovo Serbs, with Belgrade even first denying the delegation the flight from Belgrade to Prishtina so that they would have to travel through the gathering of some 8,000 Serbs.
Moscow and Belgrade strategy has now turned into proving that UN Resolution 1244 has not been accomplished, ergo no need for a replacement. Russian Ambassador wondered why Serb military has not yet returned to Kosovo, as prescribed by 1244. Surprise, surprise, Serbia hasn't asked (smartly so) for their return, UNMIK chief answered. Then US Ambassador wondered whether Serbia has supported the resolution. Once again, UNMIK chief replied that Serbia has been sabotaging the implementation of the resolution by pressuring K-Serbs not to participate in the Kosovo institutions.


"Independence despite Russia" voices have multiplied. After US diplomats and Kosovo PM, president made a similar statement.
Ahtisaari has come out publicly saying that Russia cannot block the plan, before the Contact Group meeting in London at the insignificant level of political directors for the Balkans. This statement probably seals his further participation in the Kosovo process after discounting Russia's ego like that.
Macedonia says it will support the plan, even if it fails in the UN provided that major EU countries support it. This is the strongest support by Macedonia yet.


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