Enter the Veto
Posted on: 2007-04-26 08:59:16
Russia's Opposition on Kosovo Firm
by Nebojsa Malic
As the fact-finding mission of the UN Security Council arrives in Belgrade this morning, the war of words over the occupied Serbian province of Kosovo continues. Last week, U.S. Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns warned of a "new conflict" if the province – dominated by ethnic Albanians – is not granted independence under the Ahtisaari plan.
Quite possibly, Burns meant an Albanian campaign of violence against Serbs, NATO troops and UN staff, much like the pogrom of 2004. But it is becoming clear that Washington's insistence on independent Kosovo is creating a much more serious conflict – with Russia.
This Tuesday, Burns's counterpart in Moscow, Vladimir Titov, said Russia would veto the Ahtisaari plan as unacceptable. Washington has downplayed Titov's threat; State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that the U.S. was "working to try and accommodate the concerns" of Moscow and Belgrade, but repeated that "it's time to try to craft a solution that will over time be durable."
Even now, the Empire persists in belief that Russia's opposition to the partition of Serbia is a tactical ploy, a bluff by a weak country that cannot influence the march of "democracy" in the Balkans. This belief will be sorely tested in the coming days.
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