BELGRADE – The fictitious state of Kosovo marks today eight years since the unilateral declaration of independence. In all reports of relevant international institutions, Kosovo is mentioned as a hotbed of corruption and crime and a place where not even basic human rights are respected.
This day Pristina welcomes in fear of unrest, because the opposition announced protests. The previous ones, directed primarily against the agreement on the establishment of the Association of Serbian municipalities, ended in usage of tear gas, Molotov cocktails and a series of arrests. Serbs are afraid the most of the escalation of violence, as in the past eight years they have been the most frequent target, especially in returnee communities.
“Any mass gathering of Albanians causes concern and fear among Serbs, but we hope that the Kosovo police will be able to control the protests. Serbs are always the target of Albanians. But, we have great expectations from KFOR and EULEX, to which we pointed out the necessity to prevent possible violence,” said Slavko Simic, president of the “Serbian list”.
“The opposition is supposedly against the establishment of the Association of Serbian communities, but that is only a bogus reason and justification, because these protests are directed against the formation of the special court of war crimes of the KLA (UCK).”
Fatmir Sheholi, political analyst in Pristina, says that Kosovo, after the proclamation of independence, failed to become a part of any large international organization, such as UNESCO, OSCE, “which makes it difficult for Kosovo to be a state in the true sense, and that causes revolt among the predominantly Albanian population”.
“Kosovo had faced great challenges since 1999, and it is certain that without UNMIK, EULEX, KFOR and other international missions and countries that have recognized the independence it would not be where it is.”
Kosovo’s independence has so far been recognized by 111 countries, but the most populous countries of the world, such as China and Russia, did not.
Belgrade and Pristina, through the dialogue in Brussels, with EU mediation, are trying to resolve many issues. Brussels agreement was concluded in April 2013, and Pristina still avoids to fulfill a key obligation – the establishment of the Association of Serbian communities.
Director of Radio Belgrade Milivoje Mihajlovic said for RTS that Kosovo is further from independence that it was eight years ago, when it was unilaterally declared. The authorities in Pristina spent time redirecting public attention from economic issues to encouraging discontent towards the Serbs, he said.
Mihajlovic also said that Kosovo is at the European bottom with unemployment of 50 percent, almost non-existent export, while around 150,000 people fled. He added that Kosovo is a protectorate, where religious extremism flourishes, which is also noted by EU officials. According to him, Kosovo can not join European processes, because local authorities do not support regional stability.
Mihajlovic believes that Kosovo public would not be satisfied with visa liberalization, illustrating his position with the words of the analyst Veton Surroi that the only good thing that was done in Kosovo was Parliament’s adoption of the decision to form the Special Court for the KLA war crimes.
“All these street protests are directed against such court, because it is certain that some high officials will be suspected by the court. The function can not give them amnesty for the crimes, and many powerful people in Kosovo are included in the Balkan drug route,” said Mihajlovic.