The plans to create Kosovan ‘independence’ were based on the UN withdrawing from Kosovo in June, and on the EU taking over with its contingent of 2200 EULEX officials to administer its newly acquired ‘colony’. The intended withdrawal of the UN however, has now been delayed and no new date for withdrawal is being talked about. In fact it now seems that the UN mandate over Kosovo will continue, and the EU one will not even be starting.
The takeover by the EU and the withdrawal of the UN would effectively have undermined Serbian claims to sovereignty over Kosovo, as they are based on UN Resolution 1244, which states that any settlement of Kosovo should be based on recognition of Serb sovereignty. By switching the UN out of Kosovo, and allowing the EU to takeover, Serb opposition to Kosovan independence and the reliance of its claim on Resolution 1244 would have been neatly bypassed.
But now this is not happening.
The future role of the EU is admitted to be ‘unclear’. The UN’s however is not. Its continued presence in Kosovo must inevitably continue to enforce the Resolution on which its presence is based, 1244.
This represents a colossal victory for Serbia, and an equivalent humiliation for the EU.
Vuc Jeremic, Serbia’s Foreign Minister hopes to follow this up by bringing the subject of Kosovan independence to a vote at the UN in September, where only 40 or so out of the 200 member countries have declared that they support Kosovan independence.
Russia Today reports the issues as follows –
The EU admits its plans are being reviewed because of Russia’s strong opposition to Kosovo’s independence.
They say Russia is using its weight on the Security Council to prevent a transition of power from the UN to the European Union. Full article HERE.
The BBC does not even mention Russia in its report on the continuation of the UN Mandate HERE.
Another factor not mentioned by either report is that Putin was proposing to send Russian troops to Kosovo on a humanitarian mission. I don’t think the EU would have been able to handle that, and so has agreed to delay its attempt to annex Kosovo.
From Serbianna –
UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker said UNMIK would retain a presence while the existing U.N. resolution remained valid.
“As long as resolution 1244 is in place, we will always have a U.N. responsibility for Kosovo, and the exact shape and form of that U.N. mission is yet to be decided,” he was quoted as saying on the BBC website.
The EU operation is due to mentor and monitor Kosovo police, judiciary and prison officials and have anti-riot units. The bloc still aims to assume executive powers by mid-June.
A source in the Kosovo government told Reuters “the international community is in confusion” about to what do next.
“The EU is confused because not all members have recognised Kosovo, and the U.N. is under pressure from permanent members who opposed independence or did not recognised it,” the source said.
“There’s no clarity, everything’s at the level of ideas. But ideas must be clarified before June 15, when Kosovo’s constitution comes into effect, or we’ll have a legal collision between the U.N. administration and Kosovo’s institutions.”
The source added Kosovo was worried that there would be no firm decisions even after mid-June, but “everything would be just pencilled in, so each side can interpret things in its own way and pretend to be satisfied.” EU foreign ministers are to discuss the Balkans at a meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday but diplomats doubt there will be much debate on the Kosovo mission.
“There is a sensitivity to discuss this too publicly before the May 11 (Serbian) elections, especially as regards the north,” one EU diplomat said.
The parliamentary election is seen as a crucial test of whether Belgrade takes a pro-European or nationalist direction and may be swayed by tensions surrounding the ethnic Serb minority in northern Kosovo. (Additional reporting by Ingrid Melander, Shaban Buza and Ellie Tzortzi; Editing by Stephen Weeks)