Monday, August 6, 2007

Interesting Articles and Some News Updates

As usual, I came across a couple interesting articles in my daily research on Kosovo :) One article from a Philadelphia publication explains that Kosovo is more of a Russia-Germany stand-off than a Russia-US issue. The article argues that Germany and Russia are fighting to exert their influence on Europe. I can't attest to how true the information is but it is an interesting take on the situation in Kosovo and I wanted to share the article :)
The EU may be considering proposing that Kosovo and Serbia form a confederation that would last several years before Kosovo became independence. The proposal is thought to be an alternative that may be put forth as a compromise to satisfy both Belgrade and Pristina. Ideally, it may follow a similar model to the loose ties between Serbia and Montenegro when they were considered one country. Under the possible proposal, Kosovo would have equal rights as Serbia but Kosovo would have the opportunity to self-determination through a new constitution. It's an interesting alternative and I would actually like to see it proposed to see how the parties would react.

An opinion piece in Indonesia's Jakarta Post wonders if the stand-off over Kosovo will result in WWIII with Kosovo unilaterally declaring independence and Serb ultra-nationalists going to war with Russia as an ally (as Russia is upset at the West, particularly the US who has said they would recognize if Kosovo declared...but I do believe those declarations were kind of retracted at later dates.)

As I was traveling, I forgot to pass on information about the high-profile meeting between Kosovo leaders and US Secretary of State Connie Rice. The leaders of Kosovo promised to not declare independence unilaterally without consulting its allies.The US reaffirmed its support for Kosovo's independence during the meeting and promised to continue to push for quick resolution within the next months, possibly before the conclusion of the 120-days of negotiations.

Also due to my travels, I missed news about a bus being hit by a booby trap on 20 July. The bus was transporting 10 Albanians in northern Kosovo and supposedly drove over a rope that was attached to a grenade. No one was injured in the blast and KPS is investigating the incident.

Wildfires are continuing to ravage Kosovo. Some 100,000 hectares have been burned in Kosovo over the past few months. KFOR has stepped in to assist in battling the fires.