Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
There really is no alternative to Kosovo independence. Russia realizes this. Serbia does too. Any play from here on in is for, perhaps, other border moves in the region. Bosnia, Vojvodina, Sandjak, North Mitrovica, Macedonia.

I should say the EU should be more concerned about the genie being let out of the bottle than anything Russia will do. The Serbs are a problem only inasmuch as the close quarters between Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo may lead to a flare-up of violence, as they did in 2004. In that case, you may very well see Serbia intervene only along the northern border.

I have very little faith that UNMIK or NATO or the EU battlegroups can effectively quell any violent outbreak. That has NEVER been their manner of operating in the past, and in fact, most often, international forces barrack and stay out of the fighting.

The whole Balkan scene from 1991 until today is a premium example of horrendously conducted diplomacy, and each time someone thinks they have the answer, yet another flare-up begins. EU diplomacy is all about sticking your finger in the dike.

Look at what recognition without regard for ethnic autonomy has yielded.

by Upstate NY on Mon Dec 10th, 2007 at 03:18:59 PM EST
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