Serbia has responded to a threat from Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to annex part of Serbia’s territory, if the EU doesn’t heed Albanian demands of ascension to the bloc.
Marko Djuric, Serbia’s Director of the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija has explained that Serbia will not allow such moves to take place and that any attempts at annexation would be a flagrant violation of international law.
Djuric described the Serbian position in the following way,
“For us and for a large part of the international community, including the UN, Kosovo and Metohija are an integral part of Serbia. There was no kind of a democratic procedure in Kosovo’s secession from Serbia”.
With NATO troops occupying the Serbian province of Kosovo, ethnic Albanians, unilaterally declared the province to be a state in 2008. Currently, the regime in Kosovo, operating out of Pristina, has limited international recognition.
Djuric went on to say that he remains alarmed by the EU’s lack of response to the Albanian PM’s provocative threats,
“Unfortunately, we saw silence when Pristina decided to stop the dialogue, and we don’t see a sufficient EU reaction to these claims. During the past years the Pristina authorities have failed to bring about any economic growth in the region where the unemployment rate is 65 percent and 45 percent of ethnic Albanians live below the poverty line even though the EU has invested over 60 billion euros into our southern province”.
The illegal 1999 NATO attack on the former Yugoslavia created a refugee crisis among Serbs that still remains unresolved and barely talked about in western mainstream media. Djuric described the current, dire situation,
“We should also bear in mind the fact that two-thirds of Kosovo’s pre-war Serbian population remain refugees and only about 120,000 still live in Kosovo and Metohija in poor economic conditions and political isolation, while over 200,000 now live in central Serbia”.
He continued on this theme,
“The return of Serbs who were expelled from Kosovo has been an utter failure by the international community. The rate of their return is the lowest in any post-conflict zones in modern history, even lower than in Rwanda and Burundi.
…Over 80,000 houses and apartments in Kosovo are now used by other people and, together with security problems, these are the biggest obstacles preventing the Serbs’ return to Kosovo”.
The humanitarian crisis caused by NATO’s war has yet to be meaningfully addressed by the international community. Meanwhile Albanian threats to ignite a new conflict have been largely ignored.