Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 14, 2014 19:04:10 GMT -5
Serbs storm N Kosovo police station, free prisoner.
March 13, 2014 1:40 PM
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The European Union police and justice mission in Kosovo says about a dozen Serbs stormed a police station in a northern town and freed a fellow Serb accused of serious crimes.
Kosovo authorities said at least two policemen were injured in the raid in Zubin Potok and the police station, manned by Serb policemen, was damaged.
The area is controlled by the Serb minority, which refuses to deal with ethnic Albanians and sees Western-backed organizations such as the EU mission, known as EULEX, and NATO as supportive of Kosovo's 2008 secession from Serbia.
No details were given about the offences allegedly committed by the fugitive, Slobodan Sovrlic.
Serbs collaborating with Kosovo authorities have often been targeted by extremists and labelled as traitors.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 14, 2014 19:06:26 GMT -5
Minister: Kosovo army completely unacceptable.
Tanjug Politics | March 14, 2014 | 17:02
BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vulin, minister without portfolio in charge of Kosovo and Metohija in the Serbian government, say a Kosovo army would be "completely unacceptable."
"Serbia does not intend to, within the Brussels dialogue or otherwise, negotiate this issue," he said on Friday.
"Interpretations about us seeking some sort of an annex (to the Brussels agreement) are erroneous. We are not asking for an annex, nor for negotiations about Kosovo's army - there is no Kosovo's army," he told Tanjug.
Vulin then explained that the Serbian government has not given up on its demand for a meeting of the UN Security Council to be held and discuss this issue, but added it was "not up to the government" do decide when this would happen.
The Serbian government, said Vulin, also has not changed its position that Kosovo's army is absolutely unacceptable, because Belgrade is firmly adhering to UN Security council Resolution 1244 which states that security forces in Kosovo cannot be transformed into armed forces.
Asked if it was possible that Priština would do this unilaterally, "without an agreement with anyone," Vulin said he "did not think that such a thing was possible."
"These days there's a lot of talk about respecting international law. This is a great opportunity for Western countries, even those that have recognized Kosovo, to show that they care about international law. Resolution 1244 is still valid and it can be changed only through a UNSC decision. Until that happens, the resolution must be respected, and one part of it says that KFOR is in Kosovo in the role of the armed force," said Vulin.
As he pointed out, "to create an armed force in such a problematic territory, in the area which is under UN guarantees, would mean that there is no confidence in the UN and the international community, and that an armed force was being put together to be used against Serbs."
"The surroundings of Kosovo and Metohija are completely peaceful. Serbia will not attack a part of its territory, Albania and Macedonia will certainly not attack Kosovo. Against whom then are they defending? That territory has the highest guarantees of the international community and the formation of an army of Kosovo would announce the possibility of inter-ethnic conflict," warned Vulin.
He added that the announcement that the so-called Army of Kosovo would be formed ahead of the tenth anniversary of the March 17 pogrom that targeted Serbs, for which nobody has been punished, "is something that further disturbs Serbia."
"I am not a supporter of conspiracy theories but it's as if someone wanted to tell us precisely on March 17 that the ethnic cleansing could continue. Such a formation that would number 5,000 active members and 3,000 reserves could not be useful for anything except for something like that," the minister stated.
He warned that any other armed force in Kosovo beside KFOR "would quite certainly lead to open hostilities with the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, which would have unforeseeable consequences."
In addition to international law, said Vulin, there is another obstacle to the formation of such an army - "the fact that Serb political representatives of Kosovo and Metohija must accept it."
"It is necessary that two-thirds of the Serb, that is, minority members of the assembly vote in favor, because there must be a change of the constitution. To my knowledge there is not the slightest willingness of Serbs in the provisional institutions' parliament in Priština to vote for such a thing," said Vulin.
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 19, 2014 19:21:07 GMT -5
"Crimea legally declares independence, Kosovo was illegal"
Tanjug Region | March 19, 2014 | 10:49
BANJA LUKA -- President of the Serb Republic, RS, Milorad Dodik stated in Banja Luka that "no parallels can be drawn between the situation in Kosovo and that in Crimea."
This is because Kosovo illegitimately declared independence and violated the UN Charter and the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the leader of the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina explained.
Dodik noted that the resolution guarantees Serbia its territorial integrity and noted that no referendum was organized in Kosovo.
"The decision on Kosovo's illegal declaration of independence was adopted by a group of individuals who declared themselves the parliament which did not include representatives from the entire territory of Kosovo," the RS president said as reported by the media of the Muslim-Croat entity, the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH).
“Had Kosovo followed the procedures observed by Crimea, I would gladly say that this was the people's right to self-determination because I want to affirm this right for all peoples and nations, including Bosniaks (Muslims) who wanted to assert their right to self-determination in 1991 in the circumstances of separation from Yugoslavia,” Dodik said.
He recalled that Bosniaks presented themselves as the representatives of the entire BiH using this right and imposed the stereotype according to which Bosnia was constituted with internal contradictions which led to the war.
The war ended by the Dayton Treaty which defined the BiH structure because only such a new concept could survive, Dodik said and underscored that a unitarian Bosnia with greater powers for Sarajevo is not possible.
As for Crimea, Dodik reiterated the RS stand according to which the people of Crimea staged a legitimate democratic referendum in keeping with international laws and the UN Charter on the right of the people to self-determination.
Dodik congratulated the people of Crimea on the democratic and fair referendum and their decision to declare independence which they opted for, and the Tuesday agreement between the Russian Federation and Crimea which entails initiation of procedure for Crimea's inclusion into the framework of the Russian Federation.
ЗАШТО? WHY? Revisiting NATO atrocities in Yugoslavia after 15 yrs (Part 1 - 2)
RT Mar 24, 2014
Fifteen years after NATO's 78-day bombardment of Yugoslavia, memories of the bombing still haunt present-day Serbia. NATO killed over 2,000 people, hundreds were civilians, 88 were children. Serbs ask 'why?' above all. Why did NATO smash their cities, kill their children, bomb hospitals and schools? RT presents 'Zashto?' (Why?) on the trauma of terror in Serbia.
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2014 12:54:20 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
15 years on: Looking back at NATO's ‘humanitarian’ bombing of Yugoslavia.
RT.com March 24, 2014 04:01
Exactly 15 years ago, on March 24, NATO began its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. The alliance bypassed the UN under a “humanitarian” pretext, launching aggression that claimed hundreds of civilian lives and caused a much larger catastrophe than it averted.
Years on, Serbia still bears deep scars of the NATO bombings which, as the alliance put it, were aimed at “preventing instability spreading” in Kosovo. Questions remain on the very legality of the offense, which caused casualties and mass destruction in the Balkan republic.
Codenamed 'Operation Allied Force,' it was the largest attack ever undertaken by the alliance. It was also the first time that NATO used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council and against a sovereign nation that did not pose a real threat to any member of the alliance.
NATO demonstrated in 1999 that it can do whatever it wants under the guise of “humanitarian intervention,” “war on terror,” or “preventive war” – something that everyone has witnessed in subsequent years in different parts of the globe.
Nineteen NATO member states participated to some degree in the military campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), which lasted for 11 weeks until June 10, 1999.
More rubble, less trouble
In the course of the campaign, NATO launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs, including depleted uranium bombs and cluster munitions (unexploded cluster bombs continued to pose a threat to people long after the campaign was over.) Over 2,000 civilians were killed, including 88 children, and thousands more were injured. Over 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to leave their homeland in Kosovo.
In what the alliance described as “collateral damage,” its airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals. At least 40,000 homes were either completely eliminated or damaged and about 90 historic and architectural monuments were ruined. That is not to mention the long-term harm caused to the region’s ecology and, therefore, people’s health, as well as the billion-dollar economic damage.
News correspondents Anissa Naouai and Jelena Milincic, the authors of RT's documentary 'Zashto?' – which means “Why?” in English –traveled through former Yugoslavia to Belgrade, Kosovo, and Montenegro and spoke to people who endured the atrocities and horrors of the war and lost their friends and relatives.
“There is a bridge near the city of Nis, which was bombed at the time when a passenger train was passing through it,” Milincic recalls.The tragedy on April 12, 1999 killed 15 people and wounded 44 others, while many passengers were never accounted for.
“We felt the blast and saw flames under the locomotive. The train was blown so powerfully, half a meter from the ground. I don’t know how we stayed on the rails,” recalled witness Boban Kostic.
“Our colleague got off the train when I did,” he said. “He was really scared. But another rocket hit and blew him to pieces,” added another witness, Goran Mikic.
“Why? Why civilians? Why a train?” said Dragan Ciric. “It still torments me, if the first rocket was a mistake, what were the next three for?” he told RT.
The Chinese embassy in the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade was also hit and set on fire by NATO airstrikes on May 7, 1999. Three citizens of the country were killed. The alliance called the attack “a mistake.” China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and, along with Russia, did not support a military solution for the Kosovo crisis.
A worker walks in front of the remains of the former Chinese embassy during its demolition in Belgrade November 10, 2010. During the NATO offensive against Yugoslavia, U.S. warplanes bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, killing three Chinese nationals, and consequently igniting protests outside the U.S. embassy in Beijing (Reuters)
Prior to the military assault, the Milosevic regime was accused of “excessive and disproportionate use of force in Kosovo.” But was the force that NATO used when bombing the sovereign state’s territory proportionate and restrained? Rights organization Amnesty International accused the allied forces of committing war crimes.
“Indications are that NATO did not always meet its legal obligations in selecting targets and in choosing means and methods of attack, On the basis of available evidence, including NATO's own statements and accounts of specific incidents, Amnesty International believes that - whatever their intentions - NATO forces did commit serious violations of the laws of war leading in a number of cases to the unlawful killings of civilians,” the rights watchdog said in a report published in June 2000.
The alliance dismissed the accusations, saying that cases involving civilian deaths were due to technological failure or were simply “accidents of conflict.” NATO failed to say that they were due to the alliance's own failure to take all necessary precautions.
“We never said we would avoid casualties. It would be foolhardy to say that, as no military operation in history has been perfect,” said Jamie Shea, NATO’s chief spokesman, the Guardian reported at the time.
Former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana ordered military action against Yugoslavia following a failure in negotiations on the Kosovo crisis in France’s Rambouillet and Paris in February and March 1999.
NATO's decision was officially announced after talks between international mediators – known as the Contact Group – the Yugoslav government, and the delegation of Kosovo Albanians ended in a deadlock. Belgrade refused to allow foreign military presence on its territory while Albanians accepted the proposal.
Back then, Slobodan Milosevic's forces were engaged in armed conflict with an Albanian rebel group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which sought the province’s separation from Yugoslavia. Former US President Bill Clinton's special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, had earlier described the KLA as “without any questions, a terrorist group.” (The KLA was later repeatedly accused of being involved in the organ trafficking of Serbs in the late 1990s.)
However, despite not announcing the link officially, NATO entered the conflict on the side of the KLA, accusing Serbian security forces of atrocities and “ethnic cleansing” against ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. The main objective of the campaign was to make Milosevic's forces pull out of the province. The fact that there was violence on both sides of the confrontation was ignored both by allied governments and Western media – which stirred up public anger by focusing only on Serbs’ atrocities and being far less vocal regarding abuses by Albanians.
“All efforts to achieve a negotiated political solution to the Kosovo crisis having failed, no alternative is open but to take military action,” Solana said on March 23, 1999. “We must halt the violence and bring an end to the humanitarian catastrophe now unfolding in Kosovo.”
Racak massacre controversy
An incident involving the “mass killing” of Albanians in central Kosovo’s village of Racak – a KLA stronghold – became a major excuse and justification for NATO’s decision to start its operation. Serbs were blamed for the deaths of dozens of Albanian “civilians” on January 15, 1999. However, it was alleged that the accusations could have been false and the bodies actually belonged to KLA insurgents whose clothes had been changed.
A central role in labeling the events in Racak “a massacre” belonged to William Walker, who headed the OSCE Kosovo Verification Mission. He visited the site shortly after the incident and made his judgment.
“[Walker] arrived there having no powers to make conclusions regarding what had happened,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazenta paper in November last year.
Yugoslav authorities accused Walker of going beyond his mission and proclaimed him persona non grata, while Western leaders were infuriated over the Racak incident.
“And some time later the bombing started,” Lavrov recalled, adding that the situation in Racak became the “trigger point.” Moscow insisted that an investigation should be carried out. The EU commissioned a group of Finnish forensic experts to prepare a report on the incident. Later, the European Union handed it over to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Lavrov said. The full version of the document has never been made public, said the minister, who was Moscow’s permanent representative to the UN between 1994 and 2004.
“But parts of the report leaked and were quoted in the media saying that [the victims] were not civilians and that all the bodies found in Racak were in disguise and that bullet holes on clothes and bodies did not match. There was also no one who was killed at short range,” Lavrov said. “Even though I’ve repeatedly raised this issue, the report itself still has not been shown.”
NATO halted its air campaign with the signing of the Military Technical Agreement in Kumanovo on June 9, 1999, with the Yugoslav government agreeing to withdraw its forces from Kosovo. On June 10, 1999, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1244 to establish the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
In August 2013, Amnesty International accused the UNMIK of failing to properly investigate the abductions and murders of Kosovo Serbs in the aftermath of the 1998-1999 war.
“Years have passed and the fate of the majority of the missing on both sides of the conflict is still unresolved, with their families still waiting for justice,” the organization said.
Moscow’s former envoy to NATO (1997-2002), Viktor Zavarzin, believes the military alliance’s aggression was “a crime against humanity” and a “violation of international laws and norms.” The event that unfolded 15 years ago laid ground to a new era of the development of international relations – the era of “chaosization of international law and its arbitrary manipulation,” Zavarzin, an MP for the United Russia party said at the State Duma plenary session on Friday.
Michael McFaul, who recently quit the post of the US Ambassador to Russia, tweeted his reaction to RT’s NATO bombing anniversary coverage, pointing to dramatic growth in Serbia after Milosovic was ousted.
However, the cost of NATO’s bombardment was estimated at billions of US dollars.
Former countries of Yugoslavia did see a growth of their GDP in the beginning of the 21st century, reflecting global growth, but like almost all emerging economies, suffered a drastic fall in 2008.
A man in front of his house after a daylight May 7 NATO raid over Nis. (Reuters)
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia: Symbolic stage of current World War
Claudio Gallo is a journalist, currently working as a Culture editor at La Stampa, where he also was foreign desk editor and London correspondent. His main interest is Middle East politics.
RT.com March 24, 2014 08:05
If we jump for a minute out of the ever-flowing river of the news, we might realize our being deep inside the Fourth World War.
It started in 1989 with the fall of Berlin Wall that marked the end of the Third one, aka the Cold War. The last chapter of WW4 is obviously the failed attempt to expel Russia from Crimea, but up to now its more symbolic stage remains the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia that started on March 24, 1999, exactly 15 years ago. It was a war against Slobodan Milosevic, but also a war to shift eastward NATO influence and boundaries.
Operation Allied Force, as NATO called it, consisted of 78 days of bombing Milosevic’s Yugoslavia with a progressive intensity, passing from military to civilian infrastructures targets. About 200 Serb civilians died as collateral damage (against about 300 who died in Kosovo, mainly ethnic-Albanian), while NATO had virtually no casualties during operations, only a few soldiers dying in alleged incidents.
It was the Perfect War. British Military historian John Keegan repented almost theatrically on the Daily Telegraph for his initial old faith in foot soldiers: “There are certain dates in the history of warfare that mark real turning points (…) Now there is a new turning point to fix on the calendar: June 3, 1999, when the capitulation of President Milosevic proved that a war can be won by airpower alone.”
A very clean war with a lot of smart bombs capable to split hair over Serbia and strike only the bad boys, as suggested by the drumming propaganda. To present to Western public opinion such a war of aggression inside Eastern Europe as a Just War was not an easy task in the beginning. But the Hidden Persuaders had on their side the experience of George H. W. Bush’s Gulf War. If the Gulf War was the first televised war, seen through the kind choice of CNN cameras, Yugoslavia was the first internet war.
They had to find a symbolic triggering. This was the Racak massacre, a Kosovo village in which 45 ethnic Albanians were killed by Serbian Army in response to the shooting of four Serb policemen. The NATO narrative was that the bombing was a consequence of Serbian ethnic cleansing, but the truth was, on the contrary, that was NATO intervention to trigger some operations against Kosovo population, in the contest of the war against the separatists of KLA, supported by the US and Germany.
Labour MP Tony Benn (who died a few days ago) said in the British Parliament: “Whatever the legality or morality of the war that has been launched against Yugoslavia, the bombing has gravely worsened the refugee crisis.”
Richard Gott of The (above all suspicion) Guardian believed that “the sudden Kosovo population displacements were triggered by NATO bombing and by the decision of Western governments to impose impossible conditions on the Serbian sovereign state.” As noted in those days always by the Guardian: “The KLA has been resupplied with weapons smuggled across the border from Albania and has reoccupied villages vacated by Serb security forces.”
About Racak also The (above all suspicion) Times had some doubts: “The reality of what happened at Racak is still shrouded by claim and counter-claim. What is known is that four Serb policemen were killed outside the village in a Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) ambush. Subsequently at least 40 ethnic Albanian men from the village were shot in a dawn attack by the Serbs. The Serbs say that all the dead were KLA guerrillas killed in action. The Albanians say they were all civilians killed after capture.”
But a trigger is not enough, to convince people you need an ideology, because in spite of the death of ideology proclaimed by triumphant neoliberalism, ideology is more alive than ever. Human Rights was this ideology. Let’s be clear: who is against human rights? But one thing are the human rights for which Guatemala Bishop Juan Gerardi was killed by death squads in 1998 for example, another thing is the ideology of Human Rights defended by George W. Bush and Tony Blair.
In the UK, to pave the way for this operation, was the 1997 New Labour Manifesto. It was the creation of ‘ethical foreign policy’: “Labour wants Britain to be respected in the world for the integrity with which it conducts its foreign relations. We will make the protection and the promotion of human rights a central part of our foreign policy. We will work for the creation of a permanent international criminal court to investigate genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
"Whoever says 'humanity' wants to cheat," wrote Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, then quoted by Carl Schmitt. ‘Whoever Says Humanity’ is also the title of the book that Danilo Zolo, professor of philosophy of law and of philosophy of international law at the University of Florence, wrote on those days. “In the early 1990s,” says Zolo, "humanitarian intervention" was a key element in the international strategy of the US. It claimed that "global security" required that the great powers responsible for world order felt the Westphalian principle of non-interference in the domestic jurisdiction of national states to be out of date. The war sparked off by the United States against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - the war in Kosovo in 1999 - finally established the practice of humanitarian interventionism. The humanitarian motivation was thus taken explicitly as just cause for a war of aggression. And the United States has stated that the use of force for humanitarian reasons was legitimate, even though in contrast with the United Nations Charter, the principles of the statute and the judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal, as well as with international law in general.”
The Italian philosopher Costanzo Preve titled his book on NATO bombing ‘The Ethical Bombing’. Preve said: “The US has created a tragic situation in which the philosophy of universal human rights conflicts directly with its distorted caricature, the ideology of exporting human rights by armed might. In its original Greek meaning, tragedy refers to a hopeless situation where any decision is a bad one. The question of human rights today is perhaps the most tragic of our times. On the one hand, people throughout the world definitely need to be educated to respect human rights. Moreover, this education ought to be philosophically anchored in a real universal dialogue without the obscene prejudice of Western superiority, particularly its most despicable version which comes to us as a divine mandate issued from Ronald Reagan’s City on a Hill. On the other hand, the total subservience of the United Nations to the US and its ignominious puppet regimes has led to a condition of rampant international illegality.”
Ironically, in Italy the Bomb-Bomb-Bomb Milosevic coincided with the first prime minister to come from the old Communist Party, Massimo D’Alema. Wrote the former President of the Republic Francesco Cossiga: "The landing of the ‘Communist’ D'Alema at Palazzo Chigi (the seat of government) took place with the full Washington support, in return to the guarantee that Italy would not pull back in the Kosovo War."
Even more ironically, the bombing started the same year in which the euro was born. With the attack on Yugoslavia the Clinton Administration took the occasion to demonstrate worldwide the political inconsistency of the New Europe, always dependent on the US. Fighting for the ideology of Human Rights in Kosovo, Europe was indeed fighting for the Imperial agenda.
To quote the Italian philosopher Diego Fusaro: “With the collapse of the bipolar structure of the universe, it has started a new phase of conflicts, all different, and at the same time all inside the new Fourth World War. This one is a geopolitical and cultural war declared by the Universal Monarchy to the rest of the world. A war against all the peoples and nations that are not ready to submit themselves to its power, i.e. to its politics of world’s dominion trough the commodity-form.”
NATO: Coming to terms with America’s Frankenstein monster.
Robert Bridge has worked as a journalist in Russia since 1998. Formerly the editor-in-chief of The Moscow News, Bridge is the author of the book, “Midnight in the American Empire.”
RT.com March 24, 2014 14:03
The fifteenth anniversary of NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, a barbaric and illegal act that mocked international law, provides an opportunity to consider the ultimate purpose of the US-led military machine.
NATO’s attack on Yugoslavia, which saw US-built cruise missiles pound the Balkan nation into submission after 78 consecutive days of bomb strikes (March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999), taught Russia a valuable lesson: Whenever the Western military alliance holds out a fig leaf of partnership, be prepared for fireworks to erupt somewhere on the planet.
In May 1997, the NATO-Russian Founding Act was signed between Brussels and Moscow, which created the illusion that Russia was a “security partner” in the Western military bloc. Less than two years later NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began in earnest, despite fierce objections from Russia.
The bombing campaign seemed to reveal NATO’s ultimate purpose: The eastward expansion of American military power - right to Russia’s doorstep. How else to explain Washington’s de facto alliance with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLO), a group that had been labeled a terrorist organization by US officials, but which NATO suddenly agreed to protect against “Serbian aggression.”
In March 1999, Washington was clearly committed to a full-blown military solution to the Serbian-Kosovo standoff when it demanded that Belgrade agree to the occupation of Yugoslavia by NATO forces. Although the impossible demands were barely mentioned in Western media coverage of the talks, the so-called Rambouillet Agreement was rejected outright by the Serbs as well as their Russian allies.
No self-respecting government, and certainly not Slobodan Milošević, then the president of Yugoslavia, could have agreed to the excessive and humiliating demands. The icing on the cake came when then-US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright arrogantly declared, “We accept the agreement,” as if that was all that really mattered.
The Australian-British journalist, John Pilger, wrote of the transparent casus belli, “Anyone scrutinizing the Rambouillet document is left with little doubt that the excuses given for the subsequent bombing were fabricated. The peace negotiations were stage managed and the Serbs were told: ‘Surrender and be occupied, or don’t surrender and be destroyed.’”
Even America’s allies were taken aback by Washington’s determination to lead NATO forces into war. Hubert Vedrine, France's Foreign Minister at the time, called the United States a “hyperpower” that is clearly reluctant to demonstrate any restraint on its power in the post-cold war world. Indeed, no amount of criticism could prevent NATO from opening a full-scale bombardment on a European capital for the first time since World War II.
In fact, NATO’s military actions in Yugoslavia nearly ignited World War III, when NATO-Russian forces squared off over the Pristina International Airport (On June 11, 1999, some 30 Russian armored vehicles took NATO forces by surprise when dispatched from Bosnia to seize the Pristina airport ahead of NATO forces after Russia’s demands for a peacekeeping sector independent of NATO had been rejected. A major Russia-NATO conflict was likely avoided when British General Mike Jackson famously disobeyed an order from his superior, US General Wesley Clark, by telling him,"I'm not going to start the Third World War for you" after Clark ordered Jackson to intercept the Russian column).
As the tragic events in Yugoslavia proved, NATO remains committed to military aggression and expansion despite, or because of, the treaties and agreements forged between Russia and NATO.
This was revealed later by the Bush administration’s announcement that it would construct a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, just miles from the Russian border. Moscow objected to the system - which the United States said was necessary to defend Europe from “rogue states,” namely Iran - on the grounds that it would upset the strategic balance that has kept the peace in Europe since World War II.
For a brief moment following Barack Obama’s election to the US presidency in 2009, it appeared that Russia-US relations (and by extension, Russia-NATO relations) were about to be revitalized by the so-called “reset,” which promised to usher in a new age of trust and cooperation between the two nuclear superpowers.
In April 2010, the United States and Russia signed the ‘New START’ treaty, which committed the signees to reduce the total number of their nuclear warheads to 1,550 each over a period of seven years. Moscow – and wisely, as it turned out - demanded the inclusion of an amendment that would permit the annulment of the treaty in the case that the two parties failed to arrive at an acceptable agreement on missile defense.
After all, how can there be talk of a “reset” in the relations of the two former Cold War foes unless Washington is able to put aside its Cold War-era suspicions and work together with Russia on a missile defense system that will protect Eastern Europe as well as Western Russia from the threat of a rogue missile attack? How can there be talk of Russia reducing its missile stockpile at the very same time that NATO is constructing a mighty shield on Russia’s border?
After many rounds of futile negotiations, it appears those questions will never have to be answered. The West’s reluctance to cooperate with Russia in the missile defense initiative has demonstrated Washington and NATO’s disingenuous stance towards Russia, not to mention the lie of the “reset” from the beginning.
The US-led military bloc has finally revealed its hand, which essentially says that NATO would rather risk terminating its partnership with Russia over the development of an unproven missile defense system (allegedly designed to protect Europe from Iran), a country which has already agreed to sit down and talk with the West over its nuclear program. The only conclusion that Moscow can make, given the facts as they exist, is that the real target of NATO’s missile defense system is Russia.
This leads us now into the very jaws of the Ukrainian crisis, which has just witnessed catastrophic and violent clashes in the capital of Kiev, which brought to power an illegitimate government with a number of questionable characters, including nationalists and anti-Semites, in its ranks. Such considerations, however, are regularly ignored by the United States, which has been working for years behind the scenes to force Ukraine into an ill-fitting NATO uniform.
Clearly, this is a bridge too far when it comes to NATO’s military aspirations in a country that has heavy historical and cultural links to Russia. The Western military bloc finally got its fingers burnt in its eastward push to the doorstep of Russia, where not everybody is so enthusiastic to throw in their lot with the indebted EU member states.
Last week, after Crimea voted by a huge margin to join the Russian Federation, President Putin expressed his opinion on the way Kosovo was greeted in the West as an independent country following its secession from Serbia, creating a new precedent.
"How would our colleagues claim its uniqueness? It turns out because during the Kosovo conflict there were many human casualties. What, is that supposed to be a valid legal argument?" he asked.
"We are being told that we are breaking the norms of international law. Well at least it's good that they've remembered that international law exists. Better late than never!"
However, the hard truth of the matter comes down to the strategic importance of Ukraine (which none other than America’s top geopolitical analyst, Zbigniew Brzezinski, described as part of the “critical core of Europe’s security” together with France, Germany and Poland), where Russia has long had leasing rights for its Black Sea Fleet, not to mention millions of Russian speakers who look to Russia, not the West, for their future development.
Putin expressed this idea by touching upon legitimate Russian fears of an eventual NATO encirclement of the country.
"I do not want to be welcomed in Sevastopol by NATO sailors," the Russian leader emphasized.
The West must come to the realization that unless it brings the Frankenstein monster of NATO to heel, the mere existence of the military bloc, which broke its promise following the collapse of the Soviet Union not to expand a single inch toward Russia’s borders, will trigger conflicts that it does not have the power to control.
Serbia: Nikolić pays respect to victims of Varvarin NATO airstrike.
RuptlyTV Mar 24, 2014
Serbian President Serbia Tomislav Nikolić attended an event in Varvarin on Monday marking 15 years since NATO began its "humanitarian" intervention in Yugoslavia. Ten civilians were killed and another 17 were wounded in Varvarin when a NATO airstrike struck a bridge in the town.
NATO's 78-day campaign in Yugoslavia resulted in the death of over 2,000 civilians. Over 200,000 Serbs were also displaced in the campaign.
President: We have not heard sincere apology.
Tanjug Politics | March 24, 2014 | 16:29
VARVARIN -- Tomislav Nikolić spoke in Varvarin on Monday to say that "no sincere apology has been heard so far" for NATO's attacks on a bridge there that killed ten people.
The president was in this small town in central Serbia to honor the local victims of NATO's war, 15 years after the western military alliance launched its bombing campaign against Serbia, then a part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
"Do not expect me to forget what was happening during the aggression on Serbia, 78 days and nights, from March 24 until June 9, 1999 - nor that NATO air forces on May 30 the same year, during the Orthodox holiday of the Holy Trinity, at around 13:00 hours, used four missiles to bomb the bridge on Velika Morava," he said.
The president noted that most of us have neither forgotten nor forgiven, adding that "someone might even do it - but we have not heard a sincere apology."
Nikolić reminded those present that ten people lost their lives in Varvarin, 17 suffered serious wounds, and dozens more had light injuries.
"All these years we have been counting the victims of the realization of political goals of the powerful ones. If, along with the thousands of names of innocent victims that we all, and not just their families, mention and grieve for, we were also to learn the name of at least one executioner or someone who gave the order, and who had been punished, it would be easier for us. Us Serbs are a strange people, we may even forgive most of them," Nikolić was quoted as saying.
The president then commented on NATO's campaign, "soullessly named 'Merciful Angel,' that came down mostly on innocent people," to say that 18 NATO member states dropped bombs destroying civilian targets, children and the elderly, as if in a virtual game, while their propaganda machine referred to the victims as "collateral damage."
"It is our duty to never forget the injustice that ended the lives of all the innocent people who died in the territory of Serbia, and which cannot be put right for all of eternity," he said.
Nikolić especially stressed that "we are seeking truth at any price for the sake of the peace of mind that is possible - and for the sake of reconciliation, that we need as well."
A total of 52 people from the Rasina District were killed by NATO in 1999, of which 39 military reservists, active soldiers and reserve policemen, and a civilian who died in Kosovo and Metohija.
Two were killed when a bridge was attacked in Trstenik, while the strikes on the bridge in Varvarin claimed the lives of ten people.
Most major bridges and a number of industrial and residential facilities were destroyed in the territory of the town of Kruševac and nearby municipalities.
Last Edit: Mar 24, 2014 17:37:27 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
Post by TsarSamuil on Mar 26, 2014 20:48:23 GMT -5
NATO spokesperson stands by controversial tweet.
B92, Tanjug Society | March 25, 2014 | 11:46
BELGRADE -- An image posted on Twitter, making light of the start of NATO's war against Serbia, has prompted the authorities to react.
The image replaces Nike's advertising slogan "Just Do It" with, "NATO Air Just Do It" and depicts a warplane.
It was originally posted on her Twitter profile by Vlora Citaku, a member of the government in Priština, and then picked up and retweeted by Oana Lungescu, a spokesperson for the western military alliance, on her official account.
It came on the day marking the 15th anniversary since the start of NATO's 1999 bombing campaign against Serbia.
The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said late on Monday that the gesture was disrespectful toward those Serbians killed by NATO during the 78-day war. It also said that "such moves do not contribute to the cooperation between Serbia and the alliance."
The ministry noted in its statement that March 24 is also marked remembrance day for the victims of the NATO bombing campaign, and that Assistant Foreign Minister Miomir Udovički discussed the matter with NATO's military liaison office chief in Belgrade.
Serbia's diplomatic representatives in Brussels also spoke with NATO representatives, the ministry said, and told them that "such actions show disrespect for the Serb victims of NATO's bombing, and do not contribute to the cooperation between Serbia and NATO that is realized through the NATO program Partnership for Peace."
On Monday, Serbia was marking 15 years since NATO launched its war, and remembering the thousands of victims killed during the aerial campaign.
NATO's spokesperson, however, maintains that it was appropriate for her to retweet the image on the same day. Late on Monday, Lungescu defended the gesture by saying that the retweet "in no way had the goal of disrespecting the victims of the 1999 conflict."
Instead, said she, it was "a retweet of a tweet thanking NATO for saving civilians from ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. NATO reacted quickly to protect people in Kosovo in 1999 and our peace mission KFOR continues to provide a safe environment for all people in Kosovo based on UN Security Council Resolution 1244."
In Belgrade, the Serbian government's Office for Kosovo issued a statement of its own, saying that the NATO spokesperson had posted "a cynical, sarcastic, and inhuman greeting."
When reached for comment, the U.S. sportswear manufacturer said that they "took their brand and slogan very seriously."
In response to a letter sent by several individuals from Serbia, including television producer Jakša Ščekić, Nike also said that the image "did not represent their officials stand" - and that company was in no way involved in posting the tweet or in creating the image.
"Victims of NATO must not be forgotten"
Tanjug Politics | March 26, 2014 | 12:21
BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Vulin addressed a commemorative gathering in Belgrade late on Tuesday to say that the victims of NATO's aggression must not be forgotten.
NATO has not apologized for bombing Serbia in 1999, noted the minister in charge of Kosovo in Serbia's caretaker government.
"One day, when you young people are asked whether Serbia should join NATO, whether we would do to others what has been done to us, do not explain, write books, make movies, say only the name of Bojana Tošović, and say that NATO killed her, and that NATO is evil," Vulin said while addressing students at the Faculty of Law.
Tošović was a six-month old baby from Merdare who died in her father’s arms after being hit by shrapnel from NATO missiles.
Vulin said that "some decided to speak out 15 years after Bojana’s death, faced with the consequences of the fire they fueled in Kosovo and now being able to hear its echoes in the Crimea, northern Italy, Catalonia and Scotland."
“They told us and admitted that they bombed us with depleted uranium and unloaded tons of cluster bombs. They did not say where. I want them to say where they poisoned our waters and air, so we can purge the evil so no child should suffer from it. They did not say that they were sorry, but they did say everything else,” said Vulin.
He also addressed a controversy regarding a message reposted on the official account of NATO's spokesperson Oleana Lungescu on Monday, the day Serbia was marking 15 years since it came under attack, war and remembered its victims.
"I am disgusted by you, Oleana Lungescu, I am honestly disgusted," Vulin said.
Bishop Jovan Lipljanski, vicar bishop to the Serbian Patriarch Irinej, asked where can the truth why Serbia was bombed be found.
He pointed out that 800,000 people were killed in the greatest crime that occurred after the Holocaust, in only 100 days, in Rwanda in 1994, and NATO had not fired a single bullet to save the people there.
The bishop also said that during the bombing of Libya, former U.S. envoy to Kosovo Christopher Hill said that NATO's interest in 1999 was to enter Kosovo, and that they termed the operation a humanitarian intervention.
Former Yugoslav foreign minister and ambassador to the UN Vladislav Jovanović noted that the Western military alliance yesterday celebrated a “shameful anniversary,” as 15 years ago, it attacked a country after violating principles of international law and morality as well as its own statute.
The aggression against Yugoslavia has reduced the significance and greatly weakened the United Nations, which has become a service to be used by NATO countries, he said.
"This act against our country was a hit below the belt, conducted in a cowardly manner, just as the al-Qaeda terrorist’s destruction of the World Trade Center, which is something to be condemned as well as the aggression against our country," Jovanović said.
He urged democratic states to apologize so that Serbia and them can build relationships on a sound foundation in the future.
Historian Čedomir Antić said that the war NATO imposed on Serbia was a defensive war and that Serbia is still suffering the consequences of the defeat.
The meeting was attended by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić, Defense Minister Nebojša Rodić and Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Armed Forces, Lt. Gen. Ljubiša Diković.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jul 29, 2014 16:37:54 GMT -5
Kosovo Liberation Army harvested Serb organs - EU inquiry.
RT.com July 29, 2014 19:00
An inquiry by the EU has found “compelling indications” that ten Serb captives had their body organs harvested for illegal trafficking during the 1998-99 Kosovo war. However, it wasn’t widespread and there will be no trial, the lead investigator said.
The chief prosecutor Clint Williamson, who led the investigation, said there was no evidence of widespread organ harvesting, but that the crime had occurred a number of times.
"There are compelling indications that this practice did occur on a very limited scale and that a small number of individuals were killed for the purpose of extracting and trafficking their organs," he told journalists. However, he added that there would not be enough evidence at the moment to prosecute the alleged crimes.
The revelation was part of a presentation on a 2 1/2 year investigation into atrocities that also largely confirmed human right reports that there was a campaign of persecution against Serb, Roma and other minorities by some people in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
The investigation was prompted by a 2011 report by Council of Europe member Dick Marty that accused senior KLA commanders of involvement in the smuggling of Serb prisoners into northern Albania and the removal of their organs for sale.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, himself a former KLA leader who was named in Marty's report, has dismissed the accusations as an attempt to tarnish the Kosovo Albanian fight for independence.
"The government of the Republic of Kosovo appreciates the completion of the ambassador Williamson's work, which is an important step to determine potential individual responsibility and gives an end to the claims of the unfounded charges," Tachi said.
However, Williamson bitterly complained that the investigation had been made far more difficult because of "a climate of intimidation that seeks to undermine any investigations of individuals associated with the former Kosovo Liberation Army."
Williamson did say the Special Investigative Task Force would in future be "in a position to file an indictment against certain senior officials of the former Kosovo Liberation Army" for a series of crimes, including killings, disappearances, camp detentions and sexual violence.
Without naming any individuals, Williamson said that "there are compelling indications that this practice did occur." He went to lengths to make clear the alleged harvesting was not a wholesale practice, rejecting claims of hundreds of victims. Some 400 people, mostly Kosovo Serbs, disappeared near the end of the war, AP reports.
Just over 2,000 Serbs are believed to have been killed during and immediately after the war.
Serbia has vowed never to recognize the independence of its former province, which many Serbians consider their nation's heartland, after it declared independence in 2008. It is also not recognized by dozens of country’s worldwide, including Russia.
In Belgrade, Serbia's war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic told The Associated Press that Tuesday's announcement "crowns a big effort on our part and shows that we were right when we said that war crimes had been committed and that organ trafficking took place."
DJAKOVICA -- Ethnic Albanians in Djakovica on Tuesday attacked with stones a bus carrying some 40 Serb refugees from this Kosovo town.
The incident happened in front of a Serbian Orthodox church.
The driver of the bus was lightly injured during the attack, Djokica Stanojevic, who heads an association of displaced Djakovica citizens, told Tanjug.
He explained that the incident happened despite the police escort that was provided to the Serbs.
The attack took place on Orthodox Christmas Eve.
"Once again this year we have not been able to burn the badnjak (ceremonial Christmas oak branches) in the town from which we have been driven out. At the very entrance to the church a group of Albanians waited with stones that they pelted at the bus," Stanojevic explained.
"We turned back, unable to carry the badnjak into the church," he said.
Stanojevic strongly condemned the incident, noting it was not the first of the kind, and asked for "urgent condemnation and reaction of the international community" - so that Serbs displaced from Djakovica could exercise their basic human rights - the right to live, return, move freely, and confess their religion.
Last Edit: Jan 7, 2015 15:28:25 GMT -5 by TsarSamuil
In Yugoslavia, Rising Ethnic Strife Brings Fears of Worse Civil Conflict.
By DAVID BINDER, Special to the New York Times Published: November 1, 1987
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia— Portions of southern Yugoslavia have reached such a state of ethnic friction that Yugoslavs have begun to talk of the horrifying possibility of ''civil war'' in a land that lost one-tenth of its population, or 1.7 million people, in World War II.
The current hostilities pit separatist-minded ethnic Albanians against the various Slavic populations of Yugoslavia and occur at all levels of society, from the highest officials to the humblest peasants.
A young Army conscript of ethnic Albanian origin shot up his barracks, killing four sleeping Slavic bunkmates and wounding six others.
The army says it has uncovered hundreds of subversive ethnic Albanian cells in its ranks. Some arsenals have been raided.
Ethnic Albanians in the Government have manipulated public funds and regulations to take over land belonging to Serbs. And politicians have exchanged vicious insults.
Slavic Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic Albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls.
Ethnic Albanians comprise the fastest growing nationality in Yugoslavia and are expected soon to become its third largest, after the Serbs and Croats.
The goal of the radical nationalists among them, one said in an interview, is an ''ethnic Albania that includes western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, part of southern Serbia, Kosovo and Albania itself.'' That includes large chunks of the republics that make up the southern half of Yugoslavia.
Other ethnic Albanian separatists admit to a vision of a greater Albania governed from Pristina in southern Yugoslavia rather than Tirana, the capital of neighboring Albania.
There is no evidence that the hard-line Communist Government in Tirana is giving them material assistance.
The principal battleground is the region called Kosovo, a high plateau ringed by mountains that is somewhat smaller than New Jersey. Ethnic Albanians there make up 85 percent of the population of 1.7 million. The rest are Serbians and Montenegrins.
Worst Strife in Years
As Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becoming what ethnic Albanian nationalists have been demanding for years, and especially strongly since the bloody rioting by ethnic Albanians in Pristina in 1981 - an ''ethnically pure'' Albanian region, a ''Republic of Kosovo'' in all but name.
The violence, a journalist in Kosovo said, is escalating to ''the worst in the last seven years.''
Many Yugoslavs blame the troubles on the ethnic Albanians, but the matter is more complex in a country with as many nationalities and religions as Yugoslavia's and involves economic development, law, politics, families and flags. As recently as 20 years ago, the Slavic majority treated ethnic Albanians as inferiors to be employed as hewers of wood and carriers of heating coal. The ethnic Albanians, who now number 2 million, were officially deemed a minority, not a constituent nationality, as they are today.
Were the ethnic tensions restricted to Kosovo, Yugoslavia's problems with its Albanian nationals might be more manageable. But some Yugoslavs and some ethnic Albanians believe the struggle has spread far beyond Kosovo. Macedonia, a republic to the south with a population of 1.8 million, has a restive ethnic Albanian minority of 350,000.
''We've already lost western Macedonia to the Albanians,'' said a member of the Yugoslav party presidium, explaining that the ethnic minority had driven the Slavic Macedonians out of the region.
Attacks on Slavs
Last summer, the authorities in Kosovo said they documented 40 ethnic Albanian attacks on Slavs in two months. In the last two years, 320 ethnic Albanians have been sentenced for political crimes, nearly half of them characterized as severe.
In one incident, Fadil Hoxha, once the leading politician of ethnic Albanian origin in Yugoslavia, joked at an official dinner in Prizren last year that Serbian women should be used to satisfy potential ethnic Albanian rapists. After his quip was reported this October, Serbian women in Kosovo protested, and Mr. Hoxha was dismissed from the Communist Party.
As a precaution, the central authorities dispatched 380 riot police officers to the Kosovo region for the first time in four years.
Officials in Belgrade view the ethnic Albanian challenge as imperiling the foundations of the multinational experiment called federal Yugoslavia, which consists of six republics and two provinces.
'Lebanonizing' of Yugoslavia
High-ranking officials have spoken of the ''Lebanonizing'' of their country and have compared its troubles to the strife in Northern Ireland.
Borislav Jovic, a member of the Serbian party's presidency, spoke in an interview of the prospect of ''two Albanias, one north and one south, like divided Germany or Korea,'' and of ''practically the breakup of Yugoslavia.'' He added: ''Time is working against us.''
The federal Secretary for National Defense, Fleet Adm. Branko Mamula, told the army's party organization in September of efforts by ethnic Albanians to subvert the armed forces. ''Between 1981 and 1987 a total of 216 illegal organizations with 1,435 members of Albanian nationality were discovered in the Yugoslav People's Army,'' he said. Admiral Mamula said ethnic Albanian subversives had been preparing for ''killing officers and soldiers, poisoning food and water, sabotage, breaking into weapons arsenals and stealing arms and ammunition, desertion and causing flagrant nationalist incidents in army units.''
Concerns Over Military
Coming three weeks after the ethnic Albanian draftee, Aziz Kelmendi, had slaughtered his Slavic comrades in the barracks at Paracin, the speech struck fear in thousands of families whose sons were about to start their mandatory year of military service.
Because the Albanians have had a relatively high birth rate, one-quarter of the army's 200,000 conscripts this year are ethnic Albanians. Admiral Mamula suggested that 3,792 were potential human timebombs.
He said the army had ''not been provided with details relevant for assessing their behavior.'' But a number of Belgrade politicians said they doubted the Yugoslav armed forces would be used to intervene in Kosovo as they were to quell violent rioting in 1981 in Pristina. They reason that the army leadership is extremely reluctant to become involved in what is, in the first place, a political issue.
Ethnic Albanians already control almost every phase of life in the autonomous province of Kosovo, including the police, judiciary, civil service, schools and factories. Non-Albanian visitors almost immediately feel the independence - and suspicion - of the ethnic Albanian authorities.
Region's Slavs Lack Strength
While 200,000 Serbs and Montenegrins still live in the province, they are scattered and lack cohesion. In the last seven years, 20,000 of them have fled the province, often leaving behind farmsteads and houses, for the safety of the Slavic north.
Until September, the majority of the Serbian Communist Party leadership pursued a policy of seeking compromise with the Kosovo party hierarchy under its ethnic Albanian leader, Azem Vlasi.
But during a 30-hour session of the Serbian central committee in late September, the Serbian party secretary, Slobodan Milosevic, deposed Dragisa Pavlovic, as head of Belgrade's party organization, the country's largest. Mr. Milosevic accused Mr. Pavlovic of being an appeaser who was soft on Albanian radicals. Mr. Milosevic had courted the Serbian backlash vote with speeches in Kosovo itself calling for ''the policy of the hard hand.''
''We will go up against anti-Socialist forces, even if they call us Stalinists,'' Mr. Milosevic declared recently. That a Yugoslav politician would invite someone to call him a Stalinist even four decades after Tito's epochal break with Stalin, is a measure of the state into which Serbian politics have fallen. For the moment, Mr. Milosevic and his supporters appear to be staking their careers on a strategy of confrontation with the Kosovo ethnic Albanians.
Other Yugoslav politicians have expressed alarm. ''There is no doubt Kosovo is a problem of the whole country, a powder keg on which we all sit,'' said Milan Kucan, head of the Slovenian Communist Party.
Remzi Koljgeci, of the Kosovo party leadership, said in an interview in Pristina that ''relations are cold'' between the ethnic Albanians and Serbs of the province, that there were too many ''people without hope.''
But many of those interviewed agreed it was also a rare opportunity for Yugoslavia to take radical political and economic steps, as Tito did when he broke with the Soviet bloc in 1948.
Efforts are under way to strengthen central authority through amendments to the constitution. The League of Communists is planning an extraordinary party congress before March to address the country's grave problems.
The hope is that something will be done then to exert the rule of law in Kosovo while drawing ethnic Albanians back into Yugoslavia's mainstream.
Post by TsarSamuil on Jan 27, 2015 13:17:48 GMT -5
Tear gas at Kosovo rally demanding minister resign over war victims comment.
RT.com January 27, 2015 13:13
Police have deployed tear gas to disperse some 2,000 protesters, who rallied in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina. The demonstration called for the dismissal of a Serb minister accused of insulting Albanian war victims.
Aleksandar Jablanovic, the minister for communities and returns of Kosovo, sparked anger earlier this month when he branded as “savages” a group of Albanians, who blocked a group of Serb pilgrims from entering an Orthodox Christian Church in the town of Djakovica.
On Tuesday, large crowd carrying Albanian flags took to the Pristina streets demanding dismissal of Jablanovic and the entire cabinet. The rally was organized by several opposition parties, including the nationalist Vetevendosje (Self Determination) party, reported Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, a news service focusing on the Balkans.
The crowds clashed with police when they tried to push them away from the government building near the central Skanderbeg Square. Officers used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the rally, the Balkan Insight news portal reports.
Dozens of people were reported injured in the scuffles. Live footage from the scene also showed a number of people were detained, with Kosovo's mayor reportedly among them.
The rally on Tuesday follows a much larger protest on Saturday, which also escalated into violent clashes between the demonstrators and police. The protesters demanded that Jablanovic be sacked within 48 hours, but the government rejected that demand.
“The government of Kosovo urges political parties and their leaders to fulfill their goals and political ambitions through free and democratic elections, and not to use various pretexts to achieve political goals in an undemocratic way,” Prime Minister Isa Mustafa told a government meeting.
Jablanovic, who is one of three Serb minister in the Kosovar government, has since apologized for his remark. The site of the Albanian-Serb confrontation, which served as the trigger of the conflict, was a scene of heavy fighting that resulted in many deaths during the Balkan wars. The minister said he was not aware of the tragic history of the site.
Another grievance voiced by the protesters is the government’s decision to exclude the Trepca Combine, a mine contested by Belgrade and Pristina, from a draft law on public enterprises. The law would lay a claim on 100 percent stake of the mine for Kosovo. But the government made a last-ditch exception for the facility after Serbia warned against attempts to seize the asset and complained to the EU about Pristina’s intentions.
The protesters chanted “Trepca is ours!” at both the Saturday rally and the latest protest.
The Republic of Kosovo, a partially recognized state, became independent in 2008. Among the countries which recognized the republic’s status were the US, Canada, Australia and some countries of the EU. The majority of the 1.8-million population is Albanian - 92 percent - and only 4 percent Serb.
Post by TsarSamuil on Feb 20, 2015 14:08:22 GMT -5
Kosovars unwelcome in EU: Austria says ‘don’t waste time seeking asylum’.
RT.com February 20, 2015 14:14
Kosovo’s biggest daily newspaper has published a full-page appeal from Austria not to waste time and money trying to get asylum in the EU. The call comes after a surge in the number of Kosovars smuggling themselves out of the impoverished entity.
"Smugglers are lying. There will be no asylum for economic reasons in Austria. For staying illegally in Austria, you may be punished by up to €7,500 ($8,481)," Reuters cites the appeal published on the third page of Koha Ditore.
In 2012 Serbia, which considers Kosovo its own territory illegally taken away by separatists, allowed Kosovars to travel more freely through its territory with previously unrecognized Kosovo-issued documents.
Since then thousands of people rushed from Kosovo through Serbia to seek a better life in various EU countries, with Germany and Hungary dealing with the biggest influx.
Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner raised the issue of asylum seekers during his Friday visit to Pristina.
"We will have a charter plane every two weeks and if there is a need we will engage more planes," he said. "We are discussing turning these people back also via land routes, but we have to talk to Serbia about this."
Mikl-Leitner said that this year alone, 1,800 Kosovars had applied for asylum in Austria, compared with 1,900 for the whole of 2014.
Germany in 2015 was overrun by some 20,000 Kosovars seeking asylum. It announced it was sending 20 police officers to the Serbian-Hungarian border to stem the flow of refugees.
There are some 11,000 Kosovars registered for asylum in Hungary as of January. Local police reported detaining nearly 8,000 immigrants in just one week of the month.
A Kosovo man carries his baby as he crosses illegally the Hungarian-Serbian border near the village of Asotthalom February 6, 2015. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)A Kosovo man carries his baby as he crosses illegally the Hungarian-Serbian border near the village of Asotthalom February 6, 2015. (Reuters/Laszlo Balogh)
The EU is setting up a new court. It's expected to prosecute war crimes committed by the Kosovo Liberation Army in the late 90's. European investigators claim ethnic cleansing of the Serbian & Roma population, organ trafficking, abductions & illegal detention, sexual violence, and destruction of churches and other religious sites should be hears before a judge. So far only Serbian officials have been called to “justice” over the Kosovo conflict. Nikola Mirkovich, author of the Martyr of Kosovo is In the Now
"In the Now" with RT's Senior Political correspondent Anissa Naouai is the first dedicated nightly Primetime show to air live out of our Moscow headquarters. Host Anissa Naouai has worked in the field for almost a decade and has reported from over 80 cities across the globe. Now from Monday to Thursday viewers can enjoy fresh, honest, and hard-hitting news coverage on some of the world's most pressing issues with one of RT's most experienced journalists . We'll put the spotlight on stories you'll never hear on mainstream networks or even in RT's daily news bulletins. "In the Now" - 8pm Moscow, 5pm London, 12pm New York.
Germany: 'Only political refugees from Kosovo will get asylum' - Steinmeier.
RuptlyTV Mar 2, 2015
Kosovans who are coming to Germany without being politically persecuted should not hope to gain permanent residence in Germany or any other EU country, German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in Berlin Monday.
White Cossack: How are you, Nikolov? I heard it's a hot summer in Sweden this year. Do you enjoy it? Regards, Yaroslav
Jul 20, 2018 5:51:43 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Very very hot...sometimes around 31-35...and it has been going on since month of May, everything is scorched yellow and dry, things are dying or dead, this is abnormal summer..must be global warming, usually have rainy dull summers, this feel like south eu
Jul 30, 2018 10:49:17 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: large forest fires, not where I live, but have country-wide BBQ ban..which I find ridiculous...not to enjoy this warm summer? pffft..
Jul 30, 2018 10:50:42 GMT -5
White Cossack: You enjoy it, huh.
Jul 30, 2018 12:41:41 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bbq is basic slavic right
Aug 3, 2018 10:18:31 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: @ussrstrong: I blame general low activity on social medias, all the people sit there today
Oct 10, 2018 12:53:50 GMT -5
reznik: @proto-Orchid: very true. What's worse, is that the system is designed specifically to keep those people dormant in their echo chambers. Nothing new to learn for them there, just stupid cat videos and such. Sad.
Oct 14, 2018 5:48:26 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Its the substitute for going out, meeting and spending your time with friends in real life. Its just part of the story. When I was younger I remember people were meeting to play team sports, but today you see completely autistic people jogging with iPhone.
Oct 14, 2018 18:18:38 GMT -5
Proto-Orchid: Then they come back home, put pictures on Instagram or Facebook to show off how they spent their time jogging, and as mental satisfaction they get few likes or hearts, or whatever social medias have today, which is a measure of how good their life is. Sick
Oct 14, 2018 18:21:43 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: Sto Latz! Today marks 100 years of Polska! May there be 100 more! Wish I could have gone to the Independence March to celebrate this year, of all years. Theres always the next one to look forward to...
Nov 11, 2018 6:56:57 GMT -5
prawiomir: Hello. : )
Nov 25, 2018 17:19:11 GMT -5
Pan-Slavic Patriot: The latest flare up in the Ukraine-Russia conflict is painful to watch. Two brothers pit against one-another by foriegn elites, for what? Money and power... Sad.
Nov 30, 2018 3:17:07 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Seems like its loosing momentum? lets hope...
Dec 29, 2018 9:15:04 GMT -5
Farm needs Production with alu: To Direktor: Herr Wasilij Rosinov Adresse: Kasachstan, 110 006 Kostanay, ul. Schewchenko, 64 Tel: +7 (3142) 54 09 89 Fax: +7 (3142) 54 65 53 Email: email@example.com Web: www.ivolga.kz
To Ms. Yuliya Ryaskina Please place this email to concerning Managemen
Feb 27, 2019 23:01:32 GMT -5
Marcinko: Looking for contacts to research Marcinko name in Slovakia.
Jun 3, 2019 0:37:57 GMT -5
White Cossack: Nikolov, my dear.. What's up
Jul 28, 2019 9:08:27 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: Bought a 3rd book shelf, for some reason I'm crazy about buying lots of books..
Aug 12, 2019 15:49:41 GMT -5
kooratz: I don't shout , it's considered rude, here in the US. I do shout a few things though, for one, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS RUINING OUR NATION!
Sept 13, 2019 20:32:33 GMT -5