BETA news agency reported that the political leaders of the Kosovo Albanians had a meeting with the head of the American mission in Pristina, John Menzies, and they achieved agreement about the distribution of the executive positions in the region. Ibrahim Rugova’s Democratic Union of Kosovo agreed to render Hashim Thaci’s position of the premier of Kosovo’s Democratic Party. Rugova's party in its turn, will get the positions of the president of the region and of the chairman of the parliament. NATO’s council is setting out its concern in connection with the new wave of violence and political crisis in Kosovo. The Council expresses the feeling of dissatisfaction with the stalemate situation.
The director of the center of the international research of the Institute of the USA and Canada, Doctor of History, Anatoly Utkin, expressed his opinion pertaining the possible development of the situation in the notorious region.
Answer: I would like to get back for a start. It is a fact that the Albanian leaders, including Rugova, have always had a goal to intensify the conflict. The Albanians, who lived in Kosovo, have always had a voting right, although they were not using it for ten critical years after the cancellation of the autonomy. That was in vain. They could have got the majority in all the governmental bodies of the region. The Albanian representatives could get 25-30% in the Serbian parliament and gain considerable influence on the decision-making process. Now they are going to use the parliamentary methods for executing their political, separatist goals. The Liberation Army of Kosovo is going to establish the militant Kosovo republic, using the democratic means, and the UN representatives will not be able to interfere. The borders with Albania are open! A huge mass of the Albanian population is heading for Kosovo. The Albanians are free to go to Albania, to rest there and then leave again. The Albanians have a base in the person of the Albanian state and partially in the person of Macedonia. The NATO troops are firmly settled in the region now, which means that the Albanians sense the significant guarantee of their security, the Yugoslavian army will not be able to enter Kosovo.
Question: Does anything depend on Belgrade in this situation?
Answer: There was a plan to divide Kosovo – it was earlier set forth in Yugoslavia. The Northern Kosovo, the cradle of the Serbian state, was supposed to be handed over to the Serbs. The Serbs are demoralized now. They were so certain in 1990 that the West would help them, since Yugoslavia was set up by the West! Yugoslavia was destroyed by Germany in 1941 and the West recreated it. I once saw the monument to Alexander the First – the first king of Yugoslavia, who was killed by the Croatian separatists in 1934 in Marseilles. The last words the king said, were: “Yugoslavs, turn to the West! The West is the only guarantee of integrity, unity of the Yugoslavian state.” This is very ironic. The West has destroyed Yugoslavia. I once was talking to the former US ambassador to Belgrade, Mr.Anderson. He told me that maybe Milosevic was not a pleasant guy, but Alija Ali Izetbegovic, the former president of Bosnia and Franjo Tudjman, the first president of Croatia were responsible for a lot of blood. Tudjman is a fascist almost. He established the system of one party, without any opposition, and the West did not say a word to the Croatians. Do you remember Oliver Stone’s movie about Yugoslavia? There is a scene there, when a Yugoslav man entered the house of the Bosnian Muslims. An old lady was in bed, and a lot of children around her were thinking they would be raped or killed – that was what the Serbs allegedly did. An American guy, who hated the Muslims and was in the house, went outside at once. The Serb left after him. The Serb said he had cut an old woman’s middle finger an she would die of bleeding. This is how the West was depicting Yugoslavia. We will not be hypocritical, there were such people amid the Serbs, it was the civil war, but the Croatians and the Muslims were not better really. Why did Stone make such a movie?
Q: After Slobodan Milosevic had been delivered to the Hague Tribunal, after the events, following that, is it possible to think that Russia finally lost Yugoslavia, as some of our politicians say it? Is Yugoslavia ruled by the West only?
A: There are the feelings that will never fade out. I think there are only three nations in the world that like us: the Belarussians, the Greeks, and the Serbs. We can understand each other instinctively: one religion, one historic experience.
Anatoly Utkin was interviewed by Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov