Having decided that ethnic Albanians can leave Serbia, NATO in its wisdom decided that Serbs could not leave Kosovo. After dismantling Serbia, Western officials explain, we must not allow any border changes! Of course. This unbalanced approach long has been U.S. policy in the Balkans. Washington consistently criticized–rightly–Serbian atrocities against their neighbors, but rarely mentioned–shamefully–atrocities against Serbs.
No surprise, such an unprincipled policy has led to continuing instability in Kosovo:
Nato troops fired tear gas and gunfire was heard in north Kosovo late on Wednesday as hundreds of Serbs poured into the streets to defend barricades erected against the country’s ethnic Albanian authorities. Sirens called Serbs out to respond as Nato soldiers moved to dismantle one of more than a dozen roadblocks erected in July against an operation by the Kosovo government to post border police in the mainly Serb north, a Reuters witness said.
It’s time for genuine negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia, with no predetermined result by the West, as before. The obvious trade is to leave the Serb-dominated territory in the north of Kosovo with Serbia in exchange for Belgrade’s recognition of Kosovo. Neither side would be happy, but both sides would be better off than today.
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