The Serbs have their own NWO in Kosovo

Dmitry Bavyrin

There is a crisis in Kosovo, and midnight in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The Balkan Gordian knot regularly gives pessimists a reason to sigh – “now it’s definitely war”, and journalists to remember about the “powder magazine of Europe.” But there is still no new war, the end of the world has not happened, the cyclicity persists: you see, it has resolved again in Kosovo, and dawn has dawned in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
But now it’s not like that or not quite like that. At least from the Serbian side, phrases like “a historic moment”, or “at the last line”, or even “there will be no surrender”, as well as “it was my hardest day in public service” are heard (President Aleksandar Vucic after an urgent meeting with security officials).
In Belgrade , many hope that everything will resolve and dawn again. But there is little time left.
On Thursday , Serbia will send a request to KFOR (the regional brand of NATO troops in Kosovo) to send its military police to the north of the province, where it has not been since 1999. They will answer with a categorical refusal. If after that the Kosovo Serbs continue to protest and block roads, and the Albanian authorities send their special forces to pacify them, Vucic will have to choose between two difficult decisions.
Or he will do nothing but shrug his shoulders and say something like “at least I tried.” This will mean shame for him, the loss of voters and political positions, and Serbian national pride will once again be trampled in the face of a formidable adversary in the face of NATO.
Or he will start his own, Serbian NWO, one of the fundamental reasons for which is the refusal of the Albanians to comply with the local analogue of the Minsk agreements – the Brussels agreements. They were concluded between Belgrade and Pristina in 2013 under pressure and with the mediation of the EU .
If one outlines the best option for a Serbian victory of all possible, it will look like the restoration of military and political control over Northern Kosovo, the so-called Ibar Kolasin. These are three municipalities inhabited by Serbs: Leposavich, Zvecan and Zubin Potok, as well as the local capital – half of the city of Kosovska Mitrovica, separated from the Albanian part by the Ibar River. In this case, the Ibar will become the border between Serbia and Kosovo, which will largely coincide with the ethnic picture on the ground.
Without such or almost such a scenario, the conflict will not be resolved for a very long time, crises will continue to arise again and again. But it is ideal only if the Albanians, and after them KFOR, do not react to all this, do not meet the Serbian special forces with fire, just put up with it. It would be better for everyone, but it won’t be. Instead, a war will start, and the Brussels agreements will share the fate of the Minsk agreements.
Restoring Serbian control over the whole of Kosovo, or at least over the last Serbian enclaves in the interior of the region, is a mission that is obviously impossible: Kosovo is not as small as it might seem on the map. The Serbian army is the strongest in the region (except for the Balkan country Turkey ), but the proportion between Serbs and Albanians in the declared state borders (Serbia plus Kosovo) is one to three and a half in favor of the Serbs in the best case for the Serbs. At worst, one in three. At the same time, Kosovo Albanians and Albanians living in Serbia outside of Kosovo are a younger, more passionate, more armed society than Serbian. And most importantly, the bayonets and aviation of KFOR, that is, NATO, are behind them.
The victory of the Albanians will look in such a way that they will gain complete power control over Ibar Kolasin, oust as many Serbs as they can from there, put their collaborators in administrative positions and try to raise an uprising in the communities of Presevo, Medveja and Bujanovac, which adjoin Kosovo from the east and populated mainly by Albanians. Local supporters of the concept of “Greater Albania” consider the expansion of Kosovo’s borders to these communities of Serbia “inevitable”.
At the same time, the Albanians would also prefer that the Serbs “sit and not rock the boat”, but this, of course, will not happen either. And then someone will take.
In Russia , they clearly understand who “ours” are there. But there are also several unknowns in this equation, of which at least two must be distinguished.
First, it is not known to what extent Vucic controls the protesters in Kosovo, that is, to what extent the escalation of the conflict is controlled on his part.
Officially, it does not control in any way, the Serbs are protesting on their own. A few years ago, this would have been pure truth, with which few would have dared to argue: because of the same Brussels agreements, the Serbs of Ibarsky Kolasin considered the president, impartially speaking, a traitor. But since then, much has changed, Vucic is perceived by them as a leader. But is he pulling the strings, is he capable of pulling, is he able, only he knows.
Secondly, it is not known what game Vucic and the European Union are playing between themselves and what game the European Union is playing against the United States . Some leads exactly.
Ultimately, the Europeans don’t care who controls Presevo and Buenovac, and who controls Leposavich and Zvecan: the main thing is that everyone sits quietly. But they are strongly interested in reducing US influence in Kosovo, which is still decisive and potentially dangerous. Europe needs the Albanians to focus primarily on the EU. The US, which has the largest military base in Europe in Kosovo, does not want change.
As for the desires of the Serbs of Serbia as a people, they are also more or less known thanks to sociologists. The Serbs definitely do not want to recognize Kosovo, exchange this recognition for anything and give up their claims to full control over the Ibar Kolasin. They no longer want to join the EU – the number of Eurosceptics in the country continues to grow. What they want, for the most part, is military-political neutrality, further (and arbitrarily long) negotiations with Pristina, and the concentration of the Serbian authorities on socio-economic problems within the country.
The option in which Serbia restores control over Kosovo by force with all possible consequences – a military conflict and isolation from the West, suits only a quarter of the country’s population. And only if Russia helps the Serbian NWO. At the Foreign Ministry level, Russia has already promised to support Belgrade, but it seems that Smolenskaya Square meant political support, while the Serbs mean military.
This is how the components of the local formula of war and peace look in its most simplified form. All the curls and ends of the Balkan Gordian knot can only be described in book-type formats, even if the time span is limited to only two or three years. But the main question now is not in the past, but in the future – whether the Serbian NWO will begin.
There are a thousand objective reasons why it should not start, and most of them boil down to the fact that a new war will be a disaster for Serbia. At the same time, the scenario in which everything will resolve and dawn again is understandable and quite simple:
The Albanians are releasing the hostages – all the Serbs who have been arrested in recent days, the Serbs are dismantling the barricades, Pristina is no longer trying to bring its special forces into the Ibar Kolasin, and Belgrade is its own. Negotiations will then follow up to a new crisis, which will begin at the latest in April. For this month, the Albanian authorities have postponed the elections of the leadership of the municipalities of Ibar Kolasin, and now there is anarchy: all Serbs have resigned in protest.
But sometimes it happens that circumstances are stronger than logic and someone else’s desires. Sometimes a conflict turns into a military confrontation because of the slightest spark on its own and against the wishes of all its participants, simply because someday this should have happened anyway.
Most likely it will pass again. But it would, under circumstances that made a renewed slaughter in the Balkans more real than at any time in the last ten years.