Sunday, November 06, 2005

Russian Foreign Min Visiting Serbia-Montenegro, Kosovo

BELGRADE (AP)--The Russian foreign minister was arriving Sunday for a two-day visit to Serbia-Montenegro and Kosovo for talks on the future status of the ethnically divided province, the foreign ministry in Belgrade said.

During the visit, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov planned to meet top officials in Belgrade and Podgorica - the capitals of Serbia and Montenegro - as well as ethnic Albanian leaders in Pristina, Kosovo's provincial capital.

Kosovo is still formally part of the two-member union that succeeded Yugoslavia, but has been run by the United Nations and NATO since a 1999 Alliance bombing campaign halted ex-President Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.

Belgrade has had no authority over Kosovo for more than six years, but wants to keep at least formal control over it as most Serbs consider Kosovo the cradle of their history and culture.

Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership has insisted on nothing less than full independence.

The U.N. Security Council has approved the start of talks later this month to determine the final status of the majority ethnic Albanian province.

Russia maintains a significant role both in the Security Council and in the so-called Kosovo Contact Group, a collection of U.S. and European diplomats advising on how to resolve Kosovo's status. The group is working in cooperation with former Finnish President Martii Attishari, to be the chief U.N. envoy overseeing the Kosovo status talks.

Belgrade, with historical Slavic ties to Russia, may look to Moscow for support in contending that an independent Kosovo would constitute unlawful secession.

Lavrov's official meetings in Belgrade are scheduled for Monday, when he will also address media together with Serbia-Montenegro Foreign Minister Vuk Draskovic.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires


Kosovar2006 said...

I can't wait to hear what Russia has to say.
Well I was unhappy with the article titles
'Serbian Orthodox Church warns of new Balkan tensions if Kosovo wins independence'

Well im warning that there is gonna be high tension all over Balkans if KOSOVA doesnt get independence by mid-2006

The entire region will fall into conflict. Do you really think there are still Serbs that die for 'kosovo' well very few There is 2million albanians wiling to give their lives for kosovo independence

People no other option and this Negotiation is going to SLOW
Serbia will delay it 1 5 10 20 years they dont care

Start of negotiation is start of a flame which is heating albanian blood. It will boil by the end of march if no progress is made

Dardan said...

Of course that it is in Serbs' interest to delay the negotiations. Let's say if negotiations were to be held in 2000 (one year after the war), no one would dare to say that "Kosova should remain in Serbia-Montenegro".

Now, after six years of diplomatic and public relations campaign (and millions of dollars poured into it by Serbian government) convinced a few people here or there to "consider" options other than independence.

Second, Serbia has nothing to lose and only hopes to gain something from these negotiations. Kosova is de facto independent right now as Serbia has absolutely no say on what happens in Kosova.

Albin Kurti is right. There is no need for negotiations with the state that has a nationalist government and is known for its state sponsored terror.

Chris Blaku said...

The dealings of the Serbian Orthodox Church are well known to the world, as BBC reporters offered proof in early 2005 that the Church was hiding Radovan Karadzic from the world within their ranks.

The Serbians benefit from delaying the talks because of the increasingly stressful quality of life in Kosova, conditions which breed discomfort and discontent among a population where 7 out of 10 people are under the age of 29. The Kosovars have shown remarkable restraint and compassion considering all the consequences, and they will be rewarded with independence in 2006, whether conditional or outright.

As to Dardan's comments, I am completely in agreement. The Serbian government and church have channeled millions of dollars into the propaganda behind new means of retaining Kosova (The Serbian government did not offer an alternative to independence until late 2003, where the idea of "more than autonomy- less than independence" was formed, 4 years after the animosity behind Serbia's actions had reached its peak). Such actions are an exercize in fulity however, as the impending decision cannot be denied.