While the EU is using every pretext to deny visas to the Kosovo Albanians, their so-called president Hashim Thaci keeps telling everybody about Serbia playing the “Russian card.”
For the first time in almost 10 de jure and 20 de fact years of Kosovo’s independence, Thaci dared to act up during a meeting with President of Albania Ilir Meta: Thaci pinned down Meta to the fact that since the EU has not answered the expectations of the former terrorists (whose hands are in blood and whose safes are full of money made on trafficking in drugs, arms and human organs) Albania must provide its Kosovo compatriots with Albanian passports – passports of a NATO member and a candidate for the EU membership, passports allowing their owners to travel in Europe without visa. With the Albanian mafia being one of the biggest threats in Europe, this perspective may become a big headache for the EU.
The son is acting up – the family is in danger
Seeing the Kosovo Albanians in Europe is the last thing Brussels wants. It prefers keeping them on a tight leash so as to be able to humiliate the “smaller Balkan Russia” – Serbia. If it lets that gang into its cities, it will one day find its own self on a right leash. So as to avoid this prospect, the EU has made up a proviso that will let it keep the Kosovo Albanians far from Europe: it has urged Kosovo to demarcate its border with Montenegro. Thaci has called this requirement a trap.
But why did he take this urge so painfully? The point is that besides their hunger for money and power, the former Kosovo fighters have a national idea in mind – to create Great Albania, a country that will embrace parts of Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Greece. The Albanians have pushed this project throughout their history and each time they sought support from the strongest power of that age: they first joined the Romans, then the Ottomans, then the Italian Fascists and the German Nazis and now the Americans and the Europeans. So, for Thaci, it is inadmissible to negotiate with the Montenegrins.
What the Europeans want is to bring all those small states together and to force them to dance to one pipe. In their dream, they see Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro and even Serbia as parts of the EU and NATO, as allies that no longer remember their former disputes and prefer gay parades and confrontation with Russia. For this dream to come true, the Europeans need to do a lot, and Thaci, with its Great Albania ambitions, is a thorn in side for them
A handkerchief for emotional fighter
Meta has used all of his oriental shrewdness to get out of Thaci’s trap: he said that he is not against giving Albanian passports to Kosovo Albanians but would like to discuss this matter with his dear partners from the EU and Montenegro.
NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Brian Yee rushed to calm Thaci down. And they succeeded as after Gottemoeller’s visit, the Kosovo leader was very enthusiastic and said that the sooner Kosovo joined NATO the better and that they were already negotiating this matter with all of their ethnic communities. Gottemoeller did not say anything new: “Our visit is a sign of NATO's commitment to Kosovo and to peace and stability in the Western Balkans.” And she once again made it clear that NATO was not going to go away from the region.
Yee was more communicative. After his meeting with Thaci, he said that the European perspective for Kosovo is a priority for the United States. After the meeting, Thaci explained why he was so emotional. In an interview to an Austrian mass media, he said that Bosnian Croatians already have Croatian passports (the point is that there is no Croatian mafia in Europe, there is “Yugoslavian” mafia, where there is no ethnic differences). The same is true for the Bosnian Serbs (even though they can use the Serbian passports only in Serbia).
Thaci is angry to see that the EU prefers Serbia to his young democratic state even though the Serbs continue blackmailing the West and “playing the Russian card.” The last lecture given by Vladimir Lazarevic, the former commander of the Pristina Corps of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, at Serbia’s Military Academy was the last straw for Thaci and he even said that Lazarevic’s speech can wreck the Serbian-Kosovo dialogue.
Russia’s hand and Serbia’s two chairs
It turns out that the rule of former bandits and traders in human organs in the former Serbian region, the beatings and humiliations of Serbian pilgrims in Kosovo, the forcible alienation of the cradle of the Serbian church and statehood from Serbia cannot wreck the dialogue and a story told by old man after years of custody in The Hague can!
Thaci is not as simple-minded as he may seem to be. And his statement on Lazarevic was not just an emotional outburst but a message to the Americans. No coincidence that U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Randolph Scott reacted by saying that the participation of a former war criminal in an army celebration “could undermine months of work on improving Serbia’s image in the U.S. Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic parried that neither the ambassador nor any other diplomat has the right to interfere in Serbia’s internal affairs. Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin was even more categorical: “Former general Lazarevic is now a free man. Am I supposed to praise the [NATO] bombing [of Yugoslavia] and seek justification for Kosovo’s secession? I don’t know any army that would denounce general Lazarevic and be ashamed of him, and I certainly won’t be.”
The Serbs have become tougher even despite the flexibility of their President Aleksandar Vucic and the pro-Western attitude of their Liberals.
Perhaps, the reason is that in early October, they received six Russian MIG-29s and will soon get 30 T-72 tanks and 30 scout vehicles and even missile systems. This is something more serious that Primakov’s decision to turn his plane around or even the dispatch of Russian peacekeepers to Pristina in June 1999.
Dacic was no less tough when commenting of Yee’s statement that Serbia cannot sit on two chairs. “We have no two chairs, we have only Serbia,” Dacic said.
All this is bad for the Europeans who seek to bring the Balkan states together under the EU’s wing. The patronizing tone with respect to Serbia is not working any more but the Americans can’t speak otherwise. The carrots for the Albanians are not working either: they have eaten all of them and want more. All this, together with Russia’s attempts to come back to the region, is causing a real headache for the Europeans. But this is their own fault, so, we are not sorry for them.