SERBIA – Pressures that Brussels agreement must be applied to North Kosovo, threaten to create European bank of Gaza of the bank of Ibar, and that Serbs from Kosovo get roles of Palestinian people of the 21st century, said Dusan Janjic, longtime analyst of the situation on Kosovo and Metohija, for the Serbian daily news magazine “Novosti”.
“Very dangerous proposition that few Serbs from North, 50,000 of them, are blackmailing Serbia is being pushed”, said Oliver Ivanovic, one of the Serbian leaders from the North Kosovo.
“It creates the hardest question: how many people is allowed to lose for some vague promise. The Law and the Constitution say – none! If the North of Kosovo and Metohija is let go, feel free to ask yourself what is next? Justification for spreading international animosity among Serbs cannot be some date which we certainly will not get. Germany has already entered the election process, and through talking with their MPs I got the clear message that Germany does not want EU to be enlarged,” he added.
Connecting the welfare and the future of Serbia with the question of Brussels negotiations is “very risky because there are no solid guarantees from the major powers that the current agreement will be met,” claims Obrad Kesic, analyst who lives in Washington. “That was clearly stated the testimony of the State Department representative Jonathan Moore before the Committee for Foreign Relations of the U.S. Congress.”
When a Republican Congressman from California, Dana Rohrabacher, otherwise known as a supporter for Kosovo independence insisted that Moore as representative of the U.S. government clarify what is the essence of the Brussels agreement and why even after the initialing of the agreement American troops remain on Kosovo, if that is a state, something was said, for which Kesic wasn’t clear “Why did media in Serbia misinterpret his words, which show that no solid guarantees in that regard have not been received.”
Moore first said that Kosovo army cannot go to the North according to the agreement, but later he returned to the subject and added that this agreement is temporary and that it will be significantly changed. He said very precisely that in the future Kosovo army will be able to move to the North side,” said Kesic.
The meeting of the Committee, by the way, has brought a new atmosphere in the sense of looking at the direction of the U.S. foreign policy.
“That is something I haven’t experienced before”, said Kesic, who has been following the work of U.S. administration for years.
“For the first time, in the Committee were heard dissonant opinions about U.S. foreign policy, especially those connected to Serbia and Kosovo. For U.S. Kosovo is now peripheral issue, it makes no difference whether Albanians, Serbs or Martians are ruling it, if that guarantees stability. U.S. wants to pull its troop out of there ASAP, like from Bosnia and Herzegovina, because the country heeds them somewhere else”, added Kesic.
He also emphasized that the debate was stunning, because all of a sudden the Committee stepped off its long year practice that the Serbs are the only bad guys, and discussed issues of Serbian victims and right to self-determination.
“After Moore said that the agreement and the rule of law will enable co-existence of Serbs from the North and Albanians, congressman Rohrabacher reacted with question: how can he say something like that, when the two people have been at loggerheads for hundreds of years. Rotahaber added that people from State Department are philosophizing and he called for the partition of Kosovo, but for Serbian, but for U.S. interests. He suggested that Serbia exchanges territory with Presevo to finally solve the problem because of which U.S. troops cannot be pulled from Kosovo. I think that Serbia should consider well about this initiative, even though maximalists will not like it. Before him nobody has ever said a word about right to self-determination,” said Kesic.
“North Kosovo Serbs do not trust the agreement, and situation is being worsened by threats from Pristina. That is why it was real to expect – that “northerners” reject Brussels agreement by acclamation. Their policy is based on the defensive mechanism developed for 14 years in the hostile environment,” warned Janjic.
“Serbs from North know the real issues on the field, which Belgrade did not take into consideration during the negotiations, or is simply not familiar with their existence which is even worse. That is why it was necessary to include North Serbs in the negotiation process fully, but also consult those living south of Ibar, which are under control of Pristina. They openly warn that Pristina does not want to finance health, education and social in the north. Pristina does not care the not small number of people in administration and police will be immediately fired. The issue of school program was not solved nor degrees issue. Pristina threatens with large number of lawsuits for the war crimes and thousands of criminal charges against Serbs for not accepting Kosovo nationality, documents and etc.”, continues Janjic.
“North Kosovo Serbs will not accept the imposition of any plan which would destroy results of their 14-year efforts to stay citizens of Serbia and preserve its institutions on the north,” Oliver Ivanovic is sure.
“It is pity that nobody in the government, the previous and this one, did not want to learn the history of Kosovo and Metohija. The local Serbs are very specific even compared to fellow citizens in Kosovsko Pomoravlje, people of Dinar highlander mentality which does not make them appropriate to comply with the force. In Ottoman Empire they had local government. Then in 1999. KFOR learned and understood this. That is why it is very bad pushing Serbs from central Serbia and Serbs from North Kosovo in false confrontation. It may happen that the Belgrade inadvertently does all the work for Pristina,” said Ivanovic.
Dusan Janjic stresses that such mentality the crucial question of all questions is that they will have to take Pristina’s documents and with them citizenship. To be “Kosovar – Serbian entity”.
“It is unacceptable for Serbs. Whatever happens they now have to be included in it, they have right to it, and they are capable of bearing responsibility”, said Janjic.
“Government should be honest with population from Kosovo and Metohija and tell them that this agreement turns them to the Laws of the so-called state Kosovo. Judges will be Serbs, but they will arrest and judge under “Kosovo laws”. It is also bad that Belgrade has accepted to apply one very general agreement in a short time, ignoring real life problems in the field. That mobilises Serbs from the North to defend their survival. That is very dangerous situation. Specifically, it has been spoken about scenario, that because of the “alleged lack of cooperation” from Serbian leaders from the north, “an international supervised administration” with EULEX administrator and new mayors is implemented,” says Janjic.
Janjic emphasizes that pressure for accepting the agreement cannot bring nothing good, because there are too many unresolved issues.
“The pressure is coming from Germany, which needs implementation for its own purposes, due to upcoming elections. It can lead to “palestinianizing” Serbs. They can go to the exodus in Serbia or to oppose their own state, which already announced cutting funds, which can be interpreted as economic sanctions. North Kosovo, like Palestine, would not have mother country behind. However, as in the case of Palestine, countries or groups who would invest and guide Serbian resistance would be found. That can be very long and tedious process with uncertain outcome”, warns Janjic.
Oliver Ivanovic is not convinced in the benefit of the referendum.
“What if someone starts a campaign that will reduce number of voters, so referendum either does not succeed or, if more Serbian citizens says yes to “better life” against the stubborn “handful of Serbs” from the north, and that is possible if a strong campaign is started. The problem is, that in that case much larger number of Serbs with stronger beliefs would be overruled and of course bitter, which brings long term and tragic destabilization of the whole Serbia,” warns Ivanovic.
Obrad Kesic, with insight in the Washington atmosphere, states that now should not expect any reaction by force, either from KFOR or Albanians towards Serbs on the north.
“The attitude of the West is that Belgrade should discipline the Serbs, to set the boundaries and provide conditions for the Pristine institutions to work,” he said. “But a big trap lies there. If Belgrade does that, he will also legalize the illegal NATO agression and her outcome – state of Kosovo. Initiators of NATO campaign have the goal to force Belgrade to do the job for the Pristina government, which exists only thanks to the West. After that Serbia loses any right to complain ever. Calling on the well-being of the date the government works against itself. What will happen in six months or in a year when there is no progress, will then the government be able to restrain the frustration of the citizens because of the existential problems and for feeling humiliated,” wonders Kesic.