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The complicated and dangerous geopolitics of Kosovo

Under the mask of the separation of Serbs and Albanians, Vucic wants to execute an open treason that violates the Constitution that he is obliged to protect.

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The ethnic demarcation that is promoted by Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic, between Serbs and Albanians is just another name for the creation of Greater Albania. Vucic statements and spinnings of the necessity for the “demarcation” between Serbia and Kosovo caused shock among Serbs. Most of his political life, Vucic advocated for a Greater Serbia, but with coming to power, things changed. Against his demarcation is virtually the entirety of Serbia…from experts, to the pillar and base of Serbia, and throughout the history of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

A few years ago, I wrote in my analytical column that Vucic came to power with the help of the Atlanticists, and that in accordance with that, his policy would be treacherous. I did not make a mistake. Now we are presenting the final act of betrayal. In announcements, Serbia would establish sovereignty in the north of Kosovo, provide guarantees for Serbs, and for the Serbian Orthodox Church south of the Ibar River and Serbia would be on an accelerated path to the EU.

The division of Kosovo would mean the redrawing of borders in the Balkans. Under the mask of the separation of Serbs and Albanians, Vucic wants to execute an open treason and violates the Constitution that he is obliged to protect. Although the Treaty of Brussels, signed in 2012, stipulates that Kosovo Serbs receive the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO), Pristina has obstructed this part of the agreement for many years, now it has unequivocally rejected it. The Kosovo Albanians clearly said they don’t want the community of Serb municipalities because they don’t want to have Kosovo’s Republic of Srpska.

Changing the “boundaries” would mean that a part of the majority Serb north of Kosovo will become an integral part of Serbia, while parts of southern Serbia with the Albanian majority, municipalities Preševo and Bujanovac will be given to Kosovo. However, by such a solution, the majority of Kosovo Serbs (about 80,000 people) and the monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church would remain under the authority of Kosovo, which would surely trigger a new mass exodus in the region. Serbs from Kosovo would de facto disappear; those north of the Ibar river and those south of the Ibar river.

As the abbot of Serbian Orthodox Church monastery Visoki Decani Sava Janjic writes, this ethnic cleansing of Serbs would occur under the direction of President Vucic himself.  The most fateful would be the fate of the Serbs south of the Ibar river, because they would immediately begin to emigrate. Since the issue of Kosovo for the international community would be solved, this fate would be awaiting the Serbian Orthodox Church.

The Albanians would find a way to take away the Serbian monasteries which were built in the Middle Ages. The best example for this is Montenegro, where after the separation from Serbia, the Government of Montenegro performed an open persecution of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Montenegrin police even forbade the Serbian Orthodox Church from serving in some churches, while announcing a new law according to which all churches and monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church would be seized and be under the jurisdiction of the Montenegrin Government.

On the announcement of this shameful act of law, the EU and US are silent. Serbs north of the Ibar, as soon as they become an official part of Serbia, would no longer be important to the official Belgrade. Which means the cessation of economic aid, and therefore the beginning of the accelerated emigration. This would result in the fact that the Serbs would almost disappear in Kosovo. The separation of Montenegro (2006) from the state union with Serbia and the proclamation of Kosovo’s independence (2007) has changed the geopolitical relations in the region. Namely, the territorial “narrowing down” of Serbia has significantly weakened its influence on neighboring countries. In line with that is Vucic’s policy of demarcation with the Albanians.

One of the main reasons why Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic publicly insists on demarcation is due to the entry of Serbia into the EU. However, what the European Union brought to the neighbors of Serbia, is best seen throughout Croatia. Geopolitically speaking, the European Union has destroyed Croatia. Because of the possibility of free travel and work in EU, there is an exodus in Croatia. Croatia has already decreased below 4 million inhabitants. And, according to estimates, if nothing changes, in 2030 will have less than 3 million inhabitants. In addition, Serbia would need to coordinate its foreign policy with the EU, which means it would impose sanctions against Russia.

The term “division of Kosovo” and “the demarcation between Serbs and Albanians” is deliberately imposed and almost turned into everyday life in Serbia. The true and only true term is in fact the division of Serbia. Because the withdrawal and the voluntary giving of state territory does not lead to peace, it’s precisely the opposite. It’s enough to look at the history of the Balkans , to realize and understand that with this Vucic‘s proposal pandora’s box will be opened. Because as soon as Serbia would agreed to the division with the Albanians, the Republika Srpska would soon be “on the table”, then the Serbian province of Vojvodina and the Sandzak region. This would result in the geopolitical capitulation of Serbia. The only logical policy on Kosovo is a frozen conflict policy. Serbia, as the strongest military force in the Western Balkans, should adhere to United Nations Resolution 1244 and wait for changes on the world political scene.

Albanian gain from the division

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama presented the idea of a joint foreign and security policy of Albania and Kosovo, joint diplomatic missions, as well as the election of a joint president last year in the Kosovo Parliament. Relations between Kosovo and Albania are already very intertwined in various fields of political, economic and cultural cooperation, with virtually no border between the two countries.

Rama has also announced the creation of a unified educational system, as well as a unified common market without restrictions and customs. NATO and EU membership for the Albanian/Kosovo political elite is, in fact, the only possible, and therefore very logical way to achieve their own historical goals – the unification of national territories.

The plan has several phases – the first is certainly the unification of Albania with Kosovo. That is impossible to do, unless Serbia renounces Kosovo, something that unfortunately it is now doing under the Serbian president, and under the pretext of the separation of Serbs and Albanians. It is here that we can see the extent of treason trying to be executed by Aleksandar Vucic, because without Kosovo, Greater Albania project is impossible.

If Vucic’s plan for “demarcation” passes, we would soon have attempts to divide Macedonia, followed by the integration of Albanians in Montenegro. Recently in the capital of Montenegro Podgorica, the city municipality of Tuzi with the Albanian majority became an independent municipality. The northern part of Greece is the last in line. It is important to emphasize that the main sponsors of the project of a Greater Albania are US and United Kingdom.

Russian red line

Serbia and Republika Srpska are today the only real Russian allies in Balkans. Serbia is the only state in the Balkans where the Russian army can conduct military exercises, and where Russia has a humanitarian center in strategically important city of Niš.

A recent statement by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that “we will be for a million less if we do not solve the Kosovo knot”, is shameful, but speaks enough. Kosovo has nothing to do with the economic development of Serbia. The main problem of the weakness of the Serbian economy is poor economic policy, as well as corruption and crime. The person most responsible for this is Aleksandar Vucic.

Since coming to power, Vucic fully meets the Atlanticist’s requirements, except one, entry into NATO. However, after the “separation” with Albanians, all preconditions for the Serbian entry into NATO will be complete. We should not be surprised if Vucic than declares that “if Serbia does not become a NATO member, it will be smaller by one million.”

With the membership of Croatia and Albania (2009), and Montenegro (2017) into the NATO alliance, the United States has in terms of security “almost rounded off” the space of the Western Balkans, which is geopolitically important for the control of the Adriatic basin, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Black Sea region. Besides Serbia, still there still remains Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina outside of NATO.

Bosnia is very important because it has a small exit to the Adriatic, therefore it is the only part of the Adriatic, which is not under NATO control. The only one who prevents the entry of Bosnia and Herzegovina in NATO, for now, is Republic of Srpska. According to some sources close to Vucic we can already hear that Serbia should accept reality on the occasion of NATO, because Serbia is surrounded by NATO.

If Russia allows Vucic to implement the “separation” with Kosovo, then Kosovo (either independently or as part of Albania), as well as Serbia will become part of NATO.  After that, there will be no space for Russia in the Balkans. Therefore, Russia should act preventively, and make it clear that no demarcation will be given to the Kosovo issue, and that the issue of Kosovo must be resolved in accordance with UN resolution 1244.

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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