Thursday, May 10, 2007


The US and European countries intend to circulate a draft resolution at the UN, that would give independence to Kosovo. The province of Serbia's basically been run by the UN since NATO's 1999 war, prompted by the then Serb regime's policy of driving out ethnic Albanians. It looks as if Serbian politicians will have to admit defeat in their efforts to keep Kosovo part of their country.

Or maybe not just yet. Russia's still hinting it might veto the plan, as it can do because it's one of the permanent five members of the UN Security Council. You might wonder why Russia still bothers trying to back up its old allies in Belgrade, but there's a clear parallel between the recent rise of national feeling in both countries. Russia's Vladimir Putin's trying very hard to extend his influence over just about anyone who'll give him the time of day, and countries that have been friendly to Moscow in the past are proving easier to win over. The successes of hardline politicians in Serbia, at times echoing the bad old days of Milosevic, proves Serb nationalism didn't die when he did. The UN, the US and Europe must avoid forcing Kosovo into independence any earlier than is absolutely necessary, or the Balkans may again prove to be the source of big trouble.

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