Since the government of Prishtina has decided to take military action to control the northern Kosovo customs passes, managed by authorities from Kosovo Serbs from the 2008, followed by an amalgamation of information and positions, diplomatic and political, which added other tensions to the North of Kosovo . For some the action revealed the inconstancy and the absence of a clear political line of the current Kosovar government, provoking more violence to the already tense situation, for others there is room to compliment the decision taken and the intention to control the own borders. One wonders therefore whether in the end there will be substantial changes for the management of northern Kosovo or not?
It all began with the measures adopted by the 20 July by the Kosovo government with the intention of applying "full reciprocity" which consists of the total embargo on imported Serbian products, while for those Bosnians to apply a customs duty of 10%. From the 2008 - in fact - the two states block entry into their territory of any goods with the Kosovar brand, as they do not recognize the Republic of Kosovo. The application of the measure becomes more complicated, given that since July of the 2008 Kosovo has accepted that the checks at the 1 and 31 border crossings with Serbia would be solved within the framework of Ban Ki Moon's plan following the principle of a joint responsibility of Pristina and Belgrade. This means that the Kosovo border police and customs officials would not have been positioned in the colon without prior consent from Belgrade, causing a vacuum in the customs command for Pristina. The sending of the special units of the Kosovo police, ROSU, was therefore directed at placing the border checkpoint in the north under the command of the Kosovar forces, removing the Serbian monopoly and applying the measures equally in all customs points of the Kosovar territory . Moreover, in the north of the country, especially near Mitrovica, where most of the approximately 8% of the Serbian minority population of Kosovo live, they trade - mostly smuggling - using the Serbian dinar, and there is a powerful crime situation organized for illegal trafficking, and where Kosovo police forces have no control capacity.
Kosovar Serbs in the area reacted to the presence of special ROSU units which led to clashes, violence, road obstruction and shootings, causing the death of a Kosovar agent. Subsequently, the ROSU special forces withdrew, leaving the command to the NATO force of KFOR, which negotiated a "peace of compliance" agreement until the 15 in September. The Kfor, which includes states that still do not recognize the Republic of Kosovo, has taken over the assignment of crossings as an international force, and has replaced Kosovo representatives in dialogues with local and international bodies to restore peace in the area. Slowness of reactions and perplexity of international bodies.
The reactions of the international authorities were worth mentioning. Robert Cooper, mediator of the European Union in the negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade, suggested to both parties: "Go on vacation. So we will all be more relaxed and we will be able to continue ”. EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton has simply condemned the violence without taking indicative positions, as well as EULEX which has declared itself detached from the events. Meanwhile, the Serbian authorities accuse Brussels of continuing to look favorably on Kosovo, despite the bad game, and put an aut aut to its accession process of Serbia, while imputing to the United States the orchestrators of the "attempt" of the military action. The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, which harshly criticizes the Serbian policy of destabilizing the situation in the north for not wanting to withdraw its authorities from the. It would therefore be advisable that once the Kfor mission is over, control gradually returns to the hands of Pristina, removing the difficulties even for Belgrade, and curbing illegal and criminal activities - the Committee itself suggests. A "Südtirol" for the north of Kosovo ?!
From this gray cloud that floats from the end of July to the beginning of August over the northern sky of Kosovo, a corridor news was published published by the Kosovar newspaper "Koha Ditore", which describes the prospect of a new Plan, a kind of "Ahtisari Plus" - part of the old Ahtisari package, and reworked by the same European entities. The "Plus Plan" would give northern Serbia's majority Kosovo a statutory autonomy similar to the Autonomous Province of Bolzano, in Alto Adige. This would actually be the most acceptable solution of all the others. In fact, it is impossible to imagine a correction of the boundaries from which a Pandora's vase-like effect would arise, considering the Serbs in Bosnia and the Albanians in fruit salad, and not only. The pros and cons of the Pristina gesture.
The operation - of itself unsuccessful - presents different impulses to its origin, and many facets as its consequence. First and foremost it is a military Action, wanted by the Thaçi government to try to show the strength of its special forces, and to offer neighbors a strengthened image of the Kosovar military forces. Failed attempt due to lack of effectiveness, and mostly due to inconsistencies and detachment between political plans and military strategies. Behind the military action there is an important political background, born of the previously adopted measure, but which has an even bigger and more fundamental issue for the existence of Kosovo: those between Belgrade and Pristina exercise their sovereignty in the north of country? We must not neglect the economic interests, repeatedly mentioned in the legislative measure and among the major pretexts of the action: to promote and protect the Kosovar output and make customs controls possible by preventing the marketing of smuggling with Belgrade. Usually trade is the best ointment to facilitate relations between the two countries, even if in this case they are among the last reasons to rise to the surface given the imposing implication of the illegal activities that continue to stifle the Kosovar economy. There has been no lack of shock to international politics, that shock that can offer a new and better balance to the Pristina government if it proves to be up to it. The analysts, in first order Serbs, believe that the ultimate goal of the action is the revision of the 1244 Resolution which sanctioned the status quo of Kosovo and which gives the NATO forces the power to militarily control the State. Pressing on the same international forces, we want to change the cards on the table. In fact, the action - albeit irresolute - has achieved something new, it has actually started new negotiations. We already know that the action has failed militarily and that only the option of negotiation remains, which however was already in place between Pristina and Belgrade, but which now has points in favor of Pristina, because the gesture surprised the unit international and awakened some sleeping consciences. This is demonstrated by the statements of the French ambassador Fitou who asserts that France does not want the return to thethe operation, while the German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle defends the rights of the Albanian occupiers and invites the five EU countries that have not yet done so - Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain - to "recognize Kosovo internationally" .
Former international diplomat for Kosovo, Austrian diplomat Albert Rohan says that the reciprocal measures envisaged by the Kosovo government are perfectly legitimate, as long as Serbia does not allow goods to enter Serbia, Kosovo has the right to do the same with Serbia. The reason for this position (which, however, is not unanimous among European states) is linked to the principle of protecting its territorial integrity and to the contiguous need to place a well-defined control authority in Kosovo, which at the time of identifying with the current legitimate Kosovar government. Yes
understands both the principle and the need by referring to the Bolzanese model of autonomy. What would happen if a group of German-speaking nationalists attacked the Italian police during an operation, and shot at them not allowing them to take control of the border crossings with Austria? How would Italy behave? It is obvious that in the example there is a change of perspective with respect to Kosovo. From the object to the subject, dl not recognize it to think about the need for integrity of its territory. For this reason the sympathies of the major European powers in the path of entry into the European Union of Serbia count. On the other hand, nobody wants another unresolved question of the type Macedonia - Greece.
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