Analysts: Kosovo partition unrealistic


Serbia has no clear stance on Kosovo at the moment, since senior state officials keep sending different messages, one analyst said.

By Bojana Milovanovic and Linda Karadaku for Southeast European Times in Belgrade and Pristina -- 02/10/12


Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic's recent statements were criticised by Serbian and Kosovo analysts. [Reuters]

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic's recent statements brought the Serbian diplomacy's old idea of partitioning Kosovo, which would give Belgrade control over the Serb-populated north of the territory, back to life.

"I still think that a partition [of Kosovo] is the only possible realistic solution, and I'm sure the Albanians in Pristina would accept it," Dacic told Belgrade-based Pink TV on September 22nd.

"However, it raises the question of whether it could cause shockwaves in the region, while at the same time, the fact is being avoided that a partition of Serbia would cause shockwaves."

Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci told AP on Friday (September 28th) that partition "will never happen. Partition implies changing the borders for a minimum six countries."

Analysts said the idea will never be enacted.

Dejan Vuk Stankovic, a political analyst at the Institute for Social Sciences in Belgrade, said partitioning Kosovo is unrealistic, and is not a topic currently under consideration and discussion.

"None of the countries of the contact group, including Russia, have ever mentioned the idea. It is more the reaffirmation of an old idea in Serbian politics, which was never supported by the international public," Stankovic told SETimes.

Belgrade Faculty of Political Sciences professor Predrag Simic agreed. He said that he thinks that Serbia has no clear and single stance on Kosovo at the moment, since senior state officials keep sending different messages.

"While the prime minister advocates the division of Kosovo, President [Tomislav] Nikolic and Deputy Prime Minister Vucic are mentioning different and more adamant positions. We have a cacophony of voices regarding Kosovo, which means that the new ruling coalition lacks a clear platform and consensus, and that is a problem," Simic told SETimes.

Belul Beqaj, Kosovo analyst and university professor, said partition is contrary to the concept on which the EU has been built and causes a domino effect in the region.

"What is being asked is to create and maintain multi-ethnic societies, this idea (of Dacic) is about creating mono-ethnic states," Beqaj told SETimes.

According to Stankovic, this is an attempt to turn the electorate off the idea that Kosovo can be returned under Serbia's auspices. The prime minister "wants to save what can be saved," Stankovic said.

Simic said the international community is putting quite a bit of pressure on Serbia and the new authorities do not have many options.

"The economic situation in Serbia is chaotic and Serbia, as someone who needs to find 3 million euros to cover the budget deficit by the end of the year, is not someone who can put up a fight when it comes to Kosovo. And all that is a serious test for the ruling coalition," Simic said.

Decisions on the final fate of Kosovo are made by neither the Serbs nor the Albanians, but by global power centers, Stankovic said, adding, "I think America wields far greater influence over the Kosovo issue than Russia does."

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He thinks that if Serbia were to officially call for the dividing of Kosovo at this time, it could not count on much support from the international community.

Ismet Beqiri, the whip of the parliamentary group of the Democratic League of Kosovo, in opposition, shares the same opinion.

He said his party is against any plans or attempts to back out of the Ahtisaari Package and against any thing that goes against Kosovo's Constitution.

"That's why we are against political talks with Serbia. We do not see any reason why Kosovo would have to talk to Serbia about issues of its internal arrangement. Such statements show that Serbia has a Middle Age approach and mentality towards Kosovo," Beqiri told SETimes.

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