Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Balkan Domino

The new fact-finding mission is due to arrive in Kosovo tomorrow and stay until Saturday.  The members of the Security Council are due to visit villages on both sides that suffered during the fighting and the 2004 riots.  There is much speculation of what will happen when the mission visits.  It is expected that thousands of Serb refugees will amass at the border.  Russia has also been threatening to possibly use their veto rights in the Security Council but so far have not confirmed or denied whether or not they actually will do so. 
There has been a lot of discussion about what will happen if the Security Council does not agree to Ahtisaari's plan or at least a watered-down version of the plan which gives Kosovo independence.  The most interesting of the discussions is what I would term the "Balkan Domino".  Much like the domino effect that the US feared during the Cold War, the Balkan domino is a situation that many believe will occur if Kosovo Albanians decide to unilaterally declare independence and Western countries (like the US) begin to recognize it.  People believe that then the Serbs in Northern Kosovo will declare independence, then Presevo Valley in Serbia, and then Tetevo, and then part of Montenegro...etc.  They all will claim that a precedent was set by the unilateral declaration of independence and demand the same international recognition.  Whether or not this domino effect will become a reality is hard to say...but it is one theory that is being passed around the international community.