Monday, February 04, 2008

Serb Vote A Victory for the West?

That's what the CNN headlines proclaim.

Actually, I think that, just as in 2005 when Western diplomats wanted to get Ukraine's NATO membership off the immediate agenda (and sighed deep sighs of relief when Viktor Yanukovych returned to power as prime minister), there was, at least here in the United States, a subcurrent of opinion that said a victory by Tomislav Nikolic would have been the best outcome for the United States. Then, with a "Radical" in place, forcing the separation of Kosovo might have been easier to bring about, and you would have avoided the whole "who lost Serbian democracy" question.

I do agree, that the re-election of Boris Tadic to the presidency was something the major EU states wanted, but particularly I would say the Greeks and the French. Tadic is pro-European and committed to regional integration. The problem that may arise for some here in Washington is this may strengthen a faction within Europe that argues against moving ahead with any sort of move on immediate independence. They may also want to see whether there could be other ways to "square the circle" of a largely independent Kosovo with some concessions to Serbia. For those who have been arguing for a "clean break" of Kosovo from Serbia, then, a Tadic victory complicates matters.

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