Marinkovic: The campaign and statements of Pristina officials stir concern among Kosovo Serbs

Marinković Miodrag

„The messages of Pristina officials, which feed the already excruciatingly distinct hatred of extreme parts of society towards Serbs and Serbia, are extremely harmful to the security of the Kosovo Serb community,“ Miodrag Marinkovic, executive director of the Center for Affirmative Social Actions (CASA), said in a statement for KoSSev. According to Marinkovic, speculations that Serbia may attack Kosovo are „tabloid-like political communication“ that „feeds extreme and nationalist circles in Kosovo“ and has no significance in the real world.

The war in Ukraine contributed to new developments in the political scene of the Western Balkans. Serbia, although condemning the invasion, remained the only country not to impose sanctions on Russia – as Pristina has been reminding the European Union on a daily basis, while also alleging that Vucic „does not share the values of the EU and the USA“. Ever since the war in Ukraine broke out – a country with whose leadership and people Pristina alleges to sympathize and compare itself with – Pristina officials have been sending the same messages – „Serbia is a Russian ally“, „Serbia is following Putin“, „Kosovo is endangered“.

Warnings of the „Serbian hegemony“ are getting louder with each day. Thanks to a recent diplomatic campaign involving the domestic and international political scene, even social networks, Pristina’s demands have been brought to the fore: Kosovo to join NATO and be recognized by five European countries that have not yet done so.

The director of the Center for Affirmative Social Actions (CASA), Miodrag Marinkovic, assessed that Pristina officials are attempting to „capitalize on this unprecedented crisis“.

In his words, the Albanian leaders in Kosovo immediately sided with the biggest Western powers and are now „demanding a reward.“

„They see their chance in the collapse of the international legal system and the international order, destroyed by the first military boot that marched into Ukraine. This created a new world in which the old rules can be changed, so Pristina’s leaders believe that them taking the ‘right side’ takes precedence over the current system of accession negotiations, chapters, or democratic standards it must meet to move forward with the Euro-Atlantic integration,“ he told KoSSev.

Marinkovic, however, is adamant that this will not happen.

„The chances of these demands being met are minimal. Kosovo will not join NATO because some members do not recognize it. It will not receive recognition from the five EU countries either, because the crisis in Ukraine has not removed the main reason why they have not done so, and that is their internal secessionist threats,“ Marinkovic added.

According to Marinkovic, Kosovo will not get visa liberalization, even though it fulfilled the technical conditions, citing „the fear of post-Brexit Europe of economic migration of Kosovo youth“ as an essential motive for visa barriers.

„Moreover, in the conditions of a new wave of refugees from Ukraine, I think that visa liberalization for Kosovo is even further away than it was only a week ago. The concessions that Pristina unanimously demands these days require a stable and controlled political environment, and not the current chaos that rules the world,“ Marinkovic said.

The CASA director underlined that the only thing Pristina and Kosovo Albanians can gain from this is the weakening of Serbia’s negotiating position in the negotiations on a comprehensive agreement.

„And that position is weakened by the fact that Russia, an ally of Serbia in that process, probably excluded itself from this and many other non-Russian open issues by attacking Ukraine,“ he said.

Commenting on Pristina’s allegations that Serbia is a „threat to Kosovo“, as well as announcements of a possible military blitzkrieg in the north, Marinkovic alleges that this is an unrealistic scenario.

„I don’t think there is a single serious politician or objective analyst in the West who thinks such a scenario is possible,“ he said.

Marinkovic added that the President of Serbia is not interested in moves that could jeopardize „his primary and only goal – the preservation of power.“

On the other hand, he noted, Russia has proved that it is actively engaged only within the zone of its immediate interests – which Kosovo is not.

Recalling that Kosovo is under the military protection of NATO or KFOR, he assessed that an attack on Kosovo would be an attack on the NATO pact.

„KFOR’s mandate was established by UN Resolution 1244, which Serbia, although we can rarely hear this from representatives of the authorities in Belgrade, insists on as the primary international legal framework for resolving the Kosovo issue… Therefore, speculations that Serbia could attack Kosovo are a tabloid-type political communication which, apart from discrediting their envoys and feeding extreme and nationalist circles in Kosovo, has no significance in the real world,“ he said in a statement for KoSSev.

Moreover, Marinkovic alerted that such statements by Pristina officials and the launch of a campaign for NATO membership caused great concern among Kosovo Serbs.

„The messages of Pristina officials, which feed the already excruciatingly distinct hatred of extreme parts of society towards Serbs and Serbia, are extremely dangerous for the security of the Kosovo Serb community. In such conditions, someone may deem an attack on Serbs in Kosovo as justified, because everything he heard on television from his political representatives contributes to such a perception,“ he said.

Marinkovic pointed out the absence of messages calling for peace and stability.

„It is simply unbelievable that in this situation, none of the politicians in Kosovo sent an appeal for stability, peace, and respect for their neighbors. It seems that there is a general confusion in Kosovo, the region, and in a large part of the world, the end and consequences of which cannot be determined,“ he concluded.

Related news:

Kosovo’s campaign to join NATO: New demands – recognition and EU membership

Kosovo Olympic Committee on Twitter: „Kosovo in NATO“

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