Crossfire War – Pristina – Tehran – Tirana Watch – Southeast Europe Theatre; Pristina – Sarajevo – Ankara – Tehran – Tirana/(Brussels – Vienna – Warsaw)/Kosovska Mitrovica – Belgrade – Athens – Tehran – Sofia – Moscow; New War Order – EU Warns Kosovo Albanian Leadership Against “Irresponsible” Declaration of Independence – Moscow States Third Draft of UN – Sec-Council Resolution “unacceptable” – Albanians Plan June 30 Protest
Night Watch: PRISTINA – Diplomacy is wearing thin. Since thirteen months of negotiations, on the heated issue of Kosovo independence, dead ended in March, suspended diplomatic animation since then, and still no peaceful resolution in sight, it is understandable warnings are now being issued.
Reuters reports the European Union (EU) Kosovo Envoy Stefan Lehne said in his statement to reporters after a meeting with Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdu, that any declaration of Kosovo independence by Albanian leaders, without approval from the EU or United Nations Security Council would be “irresponsible” and it “would be a huge step backwards.” He continued, “Unilateral action or other irresponsible behavior in Kosovo would take away all the good will that you have received. It will not help you overcome the remaining obstacles, but build many many more.” [SWISSINFO]
B92 reports Moscow’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has again declared the Third Draft of the UN Security-Council Resolution on Kosovo “unacceptable.” Russia has historically supported Serbian and Slavic people throughout the Balkans and it was obvious when the division of Yugoslavia began in 1991-92, that the issue would inevitably divide the European continent along non-Slavic and Slavic lines. And 1992 was supposed to have been the year of European Unity in the name of the New World Order, but obviously new war orders resulted instead.
Non-Slavic European countries like Germany-France-Britain were eager to see the fighting begin in 1991 between Croatia and Serbia and it was Germany who led the recognition of Slovenia and Croatia’s independence that December with Brussels, the EU headquarters following suit in April 1992 and the stage for war in this theatre was set. These decisions were the height of irresponsibility and were in reality the greatest step backwards in modern European history, as have been policies and decision making that have continued the war and expanded the conflict further south.
This demented, myopic, EU/NATO policy response has been to blame Belgrade and pursue their war against Serbia, but the current status quo benefits Belgrade and since that has dawned on NATO Brussels is now warning the Albanians. Kosovo Albanian Prime Minister Agim Ceku, on Wednesday, again warned that any further delay would cause a “crisis of trust” as Kosovo’s leaders demand “clarification and a timeline.”
Right now the best the Security Council can guarantee is another 120 days, four months of more negotiations. But Albanian leaders are understandably now giving the angry impression that they have said all they are going to say and are not commenting further. Albanian groups are now reported to be planning a demonstration on June 30, timed for the eve of the Maine Summit meeting on July 1 between U. S. President George W. Bush and Russia President Vladimir Putin.
The Bush Administration has already irresponsibly stated it will support any Albanian declaration of independence, which will confine Washington-Moscow international cooperation to the South Caucasus.
Albanian veterans of the 1998-99 guerrilla war against the Serbian rule in Kosovo are already discussing the war resuming and NATO has already stated it is prepared to respond quickly to any outbreak of violence with its 16,000 troops.
In February both the Albanians in Kosovo and Serbs in Belgrade held large counter-demonstrations in support of their conflicting positions. Serbian veterans have already formed, or I should say re-formed paramilitary and heavily armed militia units in South Serbia on Kosovo’s border, waiting for the Albanians to declare their independence.
Those units played a significant role during the first wave of the Balkan wars from 1991-95. The action shifted further south in 1998 as the Albanians in Kosovo began to demand more than autonomy, but independence, as the other six former republics in Yugoslavia declared and were eventually recognized by the international community, led by the EU and UN.
Significantly, Belgrade is receiving more than just support from Moscow, as other governments in the region have expressed their support. Athens signed a security agreement with Belgrade in November and on Tuesday Serbia Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic met, in Athens, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyanni, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, and ominously with Defense Minister Vangelis Meimarakis.
Earlier this year a Greek military delegation visited Moscow led by the head of the Greek 1st Army. It was eventually acknowledged, and seldom reported at the time, that there were Greeks who actually fought alongside Serbians during the first phase of the Balkan wars. Nor is it any secret Belgrade-Tehran signed a security agreement in January 2006, grandly announced by both capitals. Sofia has also recently stated very publicly Bulgaria supports Serbia and is against Kosovo independence.
Tehran also has military working relationships with every government in the former Yugoslavia knowing everyone in this region hates Vienna more than Tehran and therefore Iran will use the new fighting to enter the conflict in its attempt to silence Vienna in order to end the investigation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) based in Vienna.
Vienna began to supplant Brussels and the European Union, in a vague-opague transitional process several years ago, as the headquarters of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), a process that obviously exists in name only.
I expect any day now to hear reports of Albanian units attacking United Nations and OSCE vehicles and offices as they began to do last November. But this time the NATO units which are obliged to respond will be met by gunfire and rockets. NATO should expect no help from Kosovo police units. I suspect Tirana will be the first Islamic government to send assistance in an expression of solidarity with fellow Albanian people. Serb militias may have already been in action attacking any Albanian group which declared independence and the next war will be on.
It reminds me of the warning made by then U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen in 1998 as NATO first began to state its intention of occupying Serbia after what was going to become its 1999, 78 day air campaign. Cohen admitted, realistically, if NATO puts units in the territory they could eventually be attacked by both sides. That’s why crossfirewar.com is titled Crossfire War.