Stop The British Plot for a Second Front in the Balkans
A deflagration of the latent conflict at the Serbia-Kosovo border was temporarily defused at the beginning of August, when the Pristina government suspended for one month, under EU and US pressure, the introduction of a license plate regulation for ethnic Serbs. Nonethless, the Balkans remain a powder keg, to which some are ready to put a spark.
While many connect the escalation of the Serbia-Kosovo tensions to the visit to Washington of Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani and Prime Minister Albin Kurti on July 26, one should look at the British hand behind the effort to create a second war in Europe, directly involving NATO and Russia, over the Balkans.
First of all, the British Integrated Review and the Defence Command Paper, released in March 2021, are said to include a commitment to work closely with the Western Balkan nations “to promote international peace and security”. The British focus is on the two major flashpoints, Bosnia and Kosovo, where they are explicitly and provocatively acting against the Serbian minority, as being backed by Russia and China. It should be noted that while the US unilaterally sanctioned the ethnic Serbian president of the Bosnian tripartite Presidency, Milorad Dodik, the British have gone one step further to place sanctions on both Dodik and Zeljka Cvijanovic, the serving president of the Republika Srpska, the Serbia entity within Bosnia. The EU has not sanctioned either of these leaders.
According to a pro-British and pro-NATO analysis on the North Macedonian website, Slobodenpecat.mk, the British find US and EU policy in the Balkans too equivocal and are willing to overstep the Dayton Accords which ended the wars in the Balkans. This was clearly stated by Foreign Minister Liz Truss in Sarajevo on May 26, according to this analysis, when she totally backed the Bosnian government position against the Bosnian Serbs. The author concludes that the UK’s “forceful commitment” to the Western Balkans and Bosnia is “uniquely positioning the UK as the deciding factor in preventing the continent’s next major security crisis”. One just has to change the word “preventing” to “creating” to get closer to the truth.
Back to Kosovo, the former chief of the Italian Air Force, General Leonardo Tricarico has forcefully warned NATO, which keeps a contingent in Kosovo (KFOR) under UN mandate, against taking “false steps” in the Serbia-Kosovo “minefield”. Loose cannons have been there all the time, Tricarico told the formiche.net website, but the difference with the past “is the international backdrop against which they are set, characterized by the war in Ukraine…. Moreover, we know full well that the Serbs enjoy the support of Moscow, just as Kosovo, as the site of a NATO operation, feels equally comfortable with the Atlantic Alliance behind it. Here, then, we find ourselves in the same NATO-Russia opposition.” Similar tensions could also build up in other regions, “like a swarm of seismic aftershocks following the primary earthquake.”
To avoid a deflagration, NATO should heed the fact that Article 1 of its Treaty states that member countries should seek to settle international disputes in which they might be involved by peaceful means.