Face-off Over Kosovo
Tension is running high between Russia and the West over the future of Kosovo. Moscow’s fury over not being invited to “secret talks” in June where representatives from Germany, Italy, the UK, the U.S. and the UN met to knock out a common position on the Balkan province is just the start of it.
After a year of negotiations, little progress has been made on the final status of the province of Kosovo, which has been administered by the United Nations since 1999. Kosovo’s 90 percent Albanian majority seeks independence; Belgrade, after having been already gutted of almost all its provinces, wants to maintain sovereignty over Kosovo, arguing that allowing Kosovo to become independent would contravene international law. The European Union and the United States are backing a UN plan that would give Kosovo internationally supervised independence—with the EU playing a key role. Russia has threatened to veto the plan in the Security Council. On June 20, the EU and the U.S. circulated a revised UN resolution that would allow for a 120-day delay in implementing the plan for Kosovo’s independence. Russia rejected the new draft immediately. Neither side is about to back down.
Much is at stake.
Though the general media might put the confrontation in terms of Russia against the West, or the U.S. specifically, this is really a contest between Russia and Germany. What we are seeing is a jockeying for power in Europe by both nations. For Moscow, to have the West impose its will on Serbia (a historic ally to Russia) would signal a loss of Russian influence in Europe. For Berlin, the stakes are even higher.
Germany wants to make Kosovo a symbol of its uncontested leadership of Europe. If Berlin can overcome opposition from Russia and impose its will on a small province as far away as the Balkans, Kosovo will become more than an independent state; it will become a sign of Berlin’s reach and influence over the entire continent of Europe, from the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, including the crucial crossroads of the Balkan Peninsula.
Think tank Stratfor discussed Germany’s level of interest in Kosovo’s independence on June 15: “It was [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, not U.S. President George W. Bush, who said bluntly at the [G-8] summit—with a none-too-pleased Putin standing nearby—that Kosovo will be independent. (Bush later echoed this statement during his trip to Albania.) Merkel, not Bush, has been steadily working European leaders to ensure that, when the time comes, Europe is on the same page about this issue.”
Stratfor explained, “Merkel is seeking to help Germany re-emerge as a major European power, and what better way to do that than to publicly force the Russians into a confrontation and then make them retreat?”
But there is more to Germany’s interest in Kosovo than power politics. There are strategic reasons for Germany’s ongoing involvement in the Balkan region. Indeed, Germany has fought long and hard to facilitate the break-up of the Balkans—including the secession of Kosovo. It was largely Germany that pushed nato into intervening in Kosovo in the first place. It was Germany that helped create and arm the terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army, and Germany that once harbored the so-called government of the “Kosovo Republic in exile.”
All this interest by Germany has had a very specific purpose. Put bluntly, the German-led EU seeks to colonize the Balkans. The EU has already absorbed Slovenia, and Croatia and Macedonia are official EU candidate countries. All other Western Balkan states are classified as potential candidate countries. The EU’s website states: “The EU has repeatedly reaffirmed at the highest level its commitment for eventual EU membership of the Western Balkan countries ….”
The European Parliament issued a statement in March saying that an acceptable settlement on Kosovo’s status “allows Kosovo to achieve its desire to be integrated in Europe” (EUobserver.com, March 13; emphasis ours). The proposed plan allows Kosovo to do just that—to seek membership in international organizations, including the European Union. No wonder Germany is prepared to stand up to Russia over this.
Since Kosovo first erupted back in 1998, the Trumpet has warned readers to “Watch for German initiatives to take advantage of this situation to further her continual, careful extension of eastward hegemony in the Balkans” (July 1998). Considering the pivotal role the Balkans have played in European history, we urge readers to continue to watch, very particularly, for the Germanization of the Balkans.
The Balkans are a politically, socially and culturally volatile region, and a lot could go wrong in Kosovo’s quest for independence, but one thing is for sure: Germany will be there to pick up the pieces. Germany’s interest in the Balkans will not fade. Request a free copy of Gerald Flurry’s booklet The Rising Beast—Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans to understand more on why Kosovo and the rest of the Balkans are so important to Germany and its goal of controlling Europe.