“Kosovo Prime Minister” Kurti in an interview with “Al Jazeera” spoke about the possibility of holding a referendum on the unification of Kosovo and Albania.
The ideology of Albin Kurti and his party Vetëvendosje (“Self-determination”) implies that the Albanians, using the people’s right to self-determination, should unite into one state, “Greater Albania”, or, as the Albanians define, “Natural Albania”.
According to sociological survey of 2019, 64% of Albanians in Kosovo and 75% in Albania will vote for unification if such a referendum is held. Other studies by Western agencies have shown an even higher percentage of irredenta supporters.
The slogan of Vetëvendosje is “no negotiations” between Belgrade and Pristina, which Kurti is openly sabotaging, refusing to recognize the previously reached agreements and insisting solely on the recognition of the “independence” of the southern Serbian region.
As soon as the period of 5 + 5 years has expired since the signing of the agreement obliging the Pristina authorities to issue neutral KC series numbers adopted by the UN administration, Kurti banned the passage of vehicles registered in Serbia. Albanians demand to issue temporary numbers for 5 euros for two months, Serbs are invited to pay out of their own pockets for the recognition of the institutions of the “Republic of Kosovo”!
On September 20, the “Kosovo special forces” ROSU entered the administrative checkpoints between Kosovo and Metohija and central Serbia, stopped cars with Serbian numbers, rolled them up and replaced them with “republican” ones. Given that Pristina has the right to send special forces to the north of Kosovo only subject to the bilateral consent of the KFOR mission commander and four heads of municipalities with a Serbian majority, which, of course, was not respected.
Only in four municipalities in the north of Kosmet, 9.5 thousand vehicles with Serbian numbers were practically captured. It became impossible to cross the “border” for ambulances, trucks with humanitarian aid and essential goods.
In response to the actions of the Pristina authorities, the Kosovo Serbs deployed barricades at the checkpoint, blocking 10 ROSU armored vehicles. Despite some monstrous incidents, such as the brutal beating of three Serbs by Albanian special forces, the situation on the barricades is relatively calm.
The Serbian army was put on high alert. The most highly equipped units have been deployed to the Rash region near the “border” with Kosovo: the 72nd Special Forces Brigade, the 63rd Parachute Brigade and a separate tank battalion on Russian T-72MS. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic transferred these units to the direct subordination of the General Staff – they report directly to the president, which will avoid possible sabotage by representatives of foreign agents.
On September 27, the Defense Minister and the Chief of the General Staff of Serbia with the Ambassador and the Military Attaché of the Russian Federation visited the battle formations in the Rash region, so that they could “assess the situation with their own eyes.”
Belgrade shows its teeth and decisively makes it clear that it will not tolerate further infringement of the rights of its people in Kosovo. But it is important to understand that if Serbia takes radical steps, for example, sends troops to protect its population at least to the north of Kosmet, where the vast majority are Serbs, the West will respond with tough sanctions. This will provoke protests by Serbs against the current political configuration and against President Vucic. But the people will not forgive the betrayal of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija either. The situation for the Serbian president is stalemate.
The greatest concern is caused by the fate of the Serbs on the territory of the province, especially in the enclaves south of the Ibra, who were held hostage. Since the beginning of the year alone, there have been more than 90 ethnic attacks. Pristina uses the Serbian population and especially the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija as a lever of pressure, blackmailing Belgrade.
It is obvious that the Pristina authorities are striving for the creation of an ethnically pure Albanian Kosovo and the implementation of the “Greater Albania” project. She does not need compromises, “no negotiations.”
The opinion of the author may not coincide with the opinion of the editorial board.