Text of report by Kosovo Albanian newspaper Kosova Sot on 22 May
In principle, if a community of less than 700,000 inhabitants is allowed to have a referendum to decide about its fate, this should not be denied to a community that is three times bigger in population and has economic, human, natural, and potentials to afford becoming a state. Even though Montenegro was independent at some point - that last lime it had independence was 90 years ago - from the perspective of actual developments, the things should be seen a bit differently. Kosova [Kosovo] has become a UN entity-protectorate, in efforts to become a state. So far, the Kosovars were denied the right to express their will for the definitive secession from Serbia, thus turning the process of former Yugoslavia's dissolution into a marathon of negotiations, which will most likely be unsuccessful.
The EU has accepted the referendum in Montenegro, even though with some conditions, but regardless of its results, the thing that interests us in Kosova is that the Montenegrins are allowed to hold a referendum, but the Kosovars are not. The international community should not apply two different standards when it comes to countries of the same region. Even though the Kosova citizens have confirmed through a referendum [informal; held in 1991] their will for independence, holding another referendum would be a good thing to finalize the hard negotiations. The Kosovars should have the right to decide about themselves, while discussions on defining other modalities could start after this. In essence, holding a referendum in Kosova would soften the current relations between Kosova and Serbia, legitimate Kosova's independence, and end certain circles' efforts to prevent Kosova's independence.
By allowing such a referendum, the international community would save time and money. Such a referendum would not create any problems; on the contrary, it would only solve more quickly the main problem - the status. Now that the possibility of delaying the talks until next year is mentioned, the need for a referendum becomes a necessity.
Source: Kosova Sot, Pristina, in Albanian 22 May 06 p 1