Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Ambassador Mallias and the Balkan Train Wreck

Greece's ambassador Alexandros Mallias spoke today at the magazine about avoiding a Balkan train wreck as positions on Kosovo continue to harden in both Moscow and Washington.

Re-engaging the contact group, restarting negotiations, moving away from using language like "imposed solutions", looking at solutions that improve the European Union membership prospects for all parts of the Western Balkans, including Serbia and Kosovo, and having two additional tracks--a Franco-Russian (Sarkozy-Putin) one to try and find common ground at the United Nations and re-engaging all countries of Southeastern Europe to be stakeholders in the process--were some of the ideas. I'm not doing justice to his points and there should be a full report at National Interest online.

Thought it was interesting, when the question was posed to the ambassador, can the US cherrypick European states to support a unilateral recognition of Kosovo independence if there is no Security Council resolution, he kept insisting on Europe's need to stay united. Seemed to be based more on hope than on what is likely to happen, because if the EU gets cherrypicked again, it proves it can't function (as anything more than a free trade area).
Anonymous 7:19, I was also struck by what appears to be a self-cancelling policy of the EU--support for the Ahtisaari plan but also requirement of a new UN resolution. SO basically they have given both Washington and Moscow control over what should be primarily a EUropean ussue. The Europeans can only win if they get Moscow or Washington to back down--and I guess they figure MOscow will blink first.
Anonymous 8:31--it was interesting that Mallias described the EU position as "lowest common denominator" which to me sounds like most countries said we want independence but those less in favor of that option insisted on UN Security Council with an eye to a likely Russian veto.

What is interesting is that the EU has not decided to insist that Kosovo is solely a European problem, not an international one--that can be solved "locally." This after all is the Chinese rationale for their likely abstention from any new resolution on Kosovo.
"The Europeans can only win if they get Moscow or Washington to back down--and I guess they figure Moscow will blink first."

The men in Moscow are pretty much done blinking, since all it has gotten for them up to this point has been greater and greater US demands.

It's going to be a hot summer...
I agree. Our policy on Kosovo is just another indication that the word of the US is worthless, and that we will not make good on the committments we make with the Russians.

Go back to the Kosovo war. Seventy days of 700-1000 sorties a day from the massed air forces of NATO, and Milosevic showed no sign of cracking. The Russians intervened in Belgrade, and lo and behold, a deal came out. Now that deal didn't have what we wanted, namely, independence for Kosovo. But it got us out of a war that was splintering NATO. Part of that deal was a re-affirmation of Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo, and that at some point Serbian forces could re-enter Kosovo.

Look it up.

Now, here we are, trying to get the Serbs to accept, for no reason, independence for Kosovo, which we couldn't get by waging aggressive war in violation of the UN Charter, and the NATO-Russia Founding Act, like this part:

refraining from the threat or use of force against each other as well as against any other state, its sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence in any manner inconsistent with the United Nations Charter and with the Declaration of Principles Guiding Relations Between Participating States contained in the Helsinki Final Act;

respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security, the inviolability of borders and peoples' right of self-determination as enshrined in the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE documents;

So, we've proven to the Russians that:

The NATO-Russia Founding Act is a worthless piece of paper


that when the Russian government gets us out of a bad war, we repay them by trashing the resulting agreement when we want to.

I don't think Vladimir will be in a mood to believe much of what George says when they get together at the Bush place.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?