KOSOVO’S UNCERTAIN FUTURE
The Failure of the West’s ‘Ostrich’ Policy
With the Serbs and Albanians unable to reach common ground, it’s now up to the United Nations to determine the future status of Kosovo. It won’t be easy. According to a new study, the international community has failed miserably.
Albanians demonstrating for Kosovo independence in Pristina in early March.
Common ground on Kosovo, it seems, is still a long way off. In Vienna on Saturday, a year of fruitless talks between Serbs and Kosovo Albanians failed to reach a negotiated solution for the province, leading United Nations Special Envoy and Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari to admit defeat. He said he would now send his plan to the UN Security Council for review.
But even if the council imposes a solution, the future of the province is far from rosy. That, at least is the conclusion reached by a Berlin think-tank this month, saying the international community is largely to blame for ignoring the realities in Kosovo.
The planned “construction of a multi-ethnic society” has “failed” and does not exist “outside the bureaucratic statements of the international community,” says the report, released by the Institute for European Politics (IEP) in Berlin.
Indeed, eight years after the end of the Kosovo War — when NATO air strikes on Belgrade ended the Serbian crackdown on the Albanian insurgency — the two sides still want as little to do with each other as possible. While the ethnic Albanian majority insists on nothing less than full independence, many Serbs do not want to lose Kosovo, which they see as their historic homeland.
Read it all, from Spiegel onlineÂ