Picture – Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Moscow.
The EU/US attempt to create Kosovo as a separate state from Serbia is not meeting with the success anticipated. Of the 43 countries that currently recognise Kosovo, 30 were involved directly in the Independence process, and only thirteen others therefore were persuaded by American and EU diplomacy to support their plans. This is tanatmount to a diplomatic disaster.
From their current position of strength, Serbs are now returning their Ambassadors to the countries that have recognised Kosovo where they believe there is still a chance that they can be persuaded to reverse recognition, and fall into line with the majority of the 200 odd countries in the world, which despite repeated requests from the EU amd the US have refused to see the Kosovan independence venture as likely to succeed in the longterm.
Vuk Jeremic, the Serbian foreign minister, says that the list of countries to receive a returning Serbian Ambassador will not include the USA. There is little prospect of George Bush admitting he made (yet another) strategic error. Likewise it seems improbable that another prime instigator, Germany will be admitting fault any time soon.
But for many of the rest of the countries involved, the progress of Serbian moves towards EU membership, helped by the arrest of Karadzic today, and the diplomatic stopping in its tracks of the Kosovan Independence plan, mean that normal relations can be profitably resumed.
The UN is being invited by Serbia to operate as a neutral go-between helping Pristina and Belgrade to resolve the differences over Kosovo, which will no doubt be extrememly difficult. The US and the EU have opened a can of worms that needn’t have been touched, but a determined diplomatic campaign by Serbia, backed strongly by Prime Minister Putin of Russia have stopped the problem from becoming completely intractable, allowing the most unsuitable people possible in the Balkans to achieve a victory, which could only have caused more trouble down the road.
The strength of will of the Serbs, and their disciplined response to the EU and George Bush’s faux pax in Kosovo can only be admired.