In Kosovo celebrate a decade of unilateral secession from Serbia
BELGRADE, February 17 — RIA Novosti. The self-proclaimed authorities of the Republic of Kosovo are preparing to celebrate in Pristina “round” anniversary of a unilateral Declaration of independence from Serbia, despite the many unresolved problems of the region.
The self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo on 17 February celebrates a decade of unilateral secession from Serbia. Official celebrations in anticipation of the “foreign friends” has been postponed from Saturday to Sunday and the program of events was determined until the last moment.
It is expected that the celebrations will be attended by representatives of the US and the EU, the command of the KFOR peacekeeping body under the auspices of NATO and guests from neighboring countries, primarily Albania. Characteristically, on the anniversary arrived the brass band of the American air force in Europe USAFE.
According to the official representative of the MFA of Russia Maria Zakharova, “boast of authors and performers of the Kosovo project there is nothing”.
“Followed in 2008, of a unilateral secession in violation of fundamental principles of international law did not solve the problem of resolving the Kosovo question, the prospects of which remain vague. The efforts of “do-gooders” Kosovo has become a “black hole” strange status”, — said Zakharov before the anniversary.
Without fresh census data (estimated up to two million people), without a transparent economic indicators, with an uncertain international status in the absence of full-fledged armed forces of the Kosovo authorities declare their commitment to the EU and NATO.
While GDP per capita is about 10 thousand US dollars and unemployment is more than 30% of Kosovo remains one of the poorest regions of Europe.
On the eve of the anniversary of the official Pristina beyond the usual poverty, crime, corruption and weak infrastructure is facing some international challenges, one of the most important is terrorism.
According to local law enforcement agencies, about 300 Kosovars went from 2012 in areas of armed conflict in Syria and Iraq, where he joined various terrorist organizations. Periodically there are reports of their deaths in the middle East and about the arrests of recruiters and trainers of the jihadists in Kosovo itself.
Dependence on independence
The Kosovo Albanian authorities in Pristina unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008. Since then, every new recognition serves them as a great achievement, regardless of the extent recognized Kosovo state.
On the eve of the anniversary of independence, foreign Minister of the breakaway Republic of Behcet Pacolli said that Barbados has become the 117th country to recognize Kosovo sovereignty.
Reliable information about the number of countries that recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty, does not exist, since the official sources give conflicting information. In particular, the Serbian authorities had denied the allegations of Pristina on the recognition by individual countries (Oman, Guinea-Bissau, Uganda), and some other States themselves withdrew their recognition (Suriname, Sao Tome and Principe).
In addition to Russia and Serbia, the self-proclaimed Republic not recognized by China, India, Brazil and many others, including five EU countries — Spain, Greece, Slovakia, Romania, Cyprus.
Since the proclamation of independence of Kosovo entered into various international organizations — the international monetary Fund, the world Bank, the international Olympic Committee, the International football Federation (FIFA) and several other associations. The intention of the authorities in Pristina to join UNESCO and Interpol did not succeed.
The liberalization of the visa regime with the EU
The abolition of visas for travel to EU countries, where many Kosovars for decades to find legal and illegal jobs, is one of the priorities of Pristina. In addition to the political success of the liberalization we are talking about large amounts that the Kosovo Diaspora abroad regularly sends home.
The European Commissioner for neighbourhood policy and negotiations to expand Johannes Hahn said during a visit to Kosovo in 2016 that the transition to a visa-free regime with the EU self-declared Republic remains to fulfill two requirements of Brussels:
to approve the demarcation of the border between Kosovo and Montenegro and to intensify the fight against organized crime and corruption.
The head of the Directorate for EU enlargement, Christian Danielson said in October 2017 during the visit to Pristina that the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo will not get a visa free regime with the EU until they complete the definition of the border with Montenegro.
Border issue with Montenegro
Document on the demarcation between Pristina and Podgorica was signed on 26 August 2015, current Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, who was then in the position of Minister of foreign Affairs of Kosovo, and his Montenegrin counterpart Igor Luksic. After that, many political movements in Pristina said that the neighbouring country at the demarcation appropriated 8 thousand hectares of Kosovo territory. Attempts at ratification in the Kosovo Parliament has repeatedly led to incidents, spraying the dissenting deputies of tear gas in the courtroom and riots in the streets of Pristina.
After a visit to Pristina on Thursday, the Montenegrin Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, coincided with the visit of the foreign Minister of Germany Sigmar Gabriel, the President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic and head of the breakaway Republic Thaci signed a joint statement calling for the Kosovo Parliament to ratify the agreement on the state border. The authorities of Montenegro have expressed a willingness to review and adjust the boundary line, the possibility of which had not previously allowed it.
The Chairman of the Parliament of the breakaway Republic Kadri Veseli after that announced the end of “isolation” of Kosovo on the eve of the anniversary.
“Very good message about achieving national consensus on ratification of the agreement on demarcation with Montenegro. Such political wisdom needs to accompany us in the future important for the country decisions. In the current anniversary of independence comes the end of the isolation of the country and citizens and opens the way for liberalization of visa regime with the EU”, wrote Veseli in Facebook.
Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Fatmir Limaj, in his turn, said that the agreement could come before Parliament and be ratified by a majority of the 120 parliamentarians in the first week of March.
A special international court in the Hague
The report of the special envoy dick Marty of the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in January 2011 pointed to numerous crimes in the territory of Kosovo during the armed conflict with the authorities of Serbia in 1998-1999.
According to the document, to war crimes and international drug trafficking and trade in human organs might be involved in the Albanian leaders of the Kosovo Liberation army (KLA), the current leadership of unrecognized States. The EU at the end of the consideration of the report established a Special investigation team SITF, which in 2014 reported a sufficient quantity of material collected for criminal cases.
The Parliament of the breakaway Republic of Kosovo in August 2015, approved the law on international Special court and Special Prosecutor’s office. These bodies must act in accordance with the Kosovo Constitution and legislation as well as international law and located in Netherlands the Hague.
Representatives of hscu in July 2017, said the body also called the court of justice for crimes of the Kosovo Liberation army (KLA) in the Hague, ready to work. The Chairman of the Bulgarian specialized court lawyer Catherine Trendafilova said in December in Pristina, that there is no current high position does not exempt the defendants from liability.
Among the probable accused media of the region called many representatives of the current leadership of the breakaway Republic.
The head of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, head of the parliamentary “Initiative for Kosovo” Fatmir Limaj, the speaker of Parliament, Kadri Veseli, Deputy Prime Minister and the brother of Daut Haradinaj, like many other members of the winning in the parliamentary elections in June, the coalition was a field komentiraj UAC and are considered in Serbia as war criminals.
Part of Kosovo MPs from the ruling coalition in December 2017 submitted to Parliament a bill for a Special international court, but scored only 43 seats out of 120.
Opposition politicians in Kosovo the work of the court has caused serious criticism from the EU and the USA. With cautionary statements repeatedly made by the representatives of Brussels and Washington.
Veterans of KLA — President of the breakaway Republic Thaci, the Parliament speaker Veseli and later Prime Minister Haradinaj after repeatedly expressed doubt said about the forced need to allow speccode to work. However, the MP and brother Haradinaj — Daut — threatened to intensify the rebels of the KLA, when will the arrests of the regulations of the court, and cousin of the Kosovo Prime Minister — Nasim, who heads the Association of veterans of the KLA, said that his colleagues of the charges “will not understand”. Still, no accusation had been made.
The dialogue with Belgrade
Official Belgrade does not recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty, under pressure from Brussels and the region of convergence with the European Union, as well as for the sake of ease of life in the province, ordinary citizens in 2011 was forced to start negotiations on the normalization of relations with Kosovo Albanians with the mediation of the EU.
The largest agreements are the Agreement on principles of normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, signed in April 2013, and the agreement on the Community of Serb communities, signed by the parties in August 2015. The community had to have its own symbols of authority in local government and other attributes of autonomy. As a result of the refusal of the Kosovo Parliament to ratify the agreement and many of the incidents in Parliament and around it, it is still not formed.
The President of Serbia Alexander Vucic in the beginning of 2018 have expressed willingness to continue talks with Kosovo Albanian authorities and come to a legally binding agreement on the normalization of relations, according to EU requirements, if such a decision will be made by the Serbian people. However, Vucic opposed the unconditional recognition of the self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo.