New proposal, new refusal

Article published on Nov. 26, 2007
Article published on Nov. 26, 2007
After the Hong Kong model, Belgrade proposes the idea of autonomy based on the Åland model. The autonomous province of Åland of which the main part of the population speaks Swedish is under Finnish sovereignty. Pristina refuses this model. The  freshly elected Kosovo Prime Minister Ashim Thaci focuses on modalities of a proclamation of independence and its recognition.

The Åland islands lie between Sweden and Finland. Finland has granted a broad autonomous status to the Swedish speaking Åland on 12 October 1951. The islands were granted  the right to retain their language, to collect their own taxes and tariffs as well as preserving their culture and traditions.

The 20 November negotiations constituted the fifth and penultimate session before the 10 December deadline when the arbitrators of the Russian American European troïka will have to hand in a report to Ban Ki Moon the Secretary General of the United Nations.

According to the Agence France Presse, the European arbitrator W. Ischinger “seems, unlike Moscow, to set aside the possibility that these talks carry on after the 10 December deadline’. Thus, he hopes to announce the next step of a scenario thought about for months, but fear by many European countries : the definition of conditions according to which most European Union member states would be ready to recognise a unilateral proclamation of independence by the Kosovars despite Russia’s hostility.’

The Russian arbitrator A. Bocan-Harcenko has confirmed that during the last negotiation round, the Albanian side was suggested to sign a document in which they would renounce on the idea of the creation of a “big Albania”. He said that the Albanians have rejected this formulation because “all the parties have agreed right from the start that such a scenario was not conceivable.” “The fact that some processes cannot be stopped with a piece of paper is something else” told the diplomat to the Russian newspaper “Izvestija”.

Because of a possible escalation of violence in Kosovo if Albanians self-proclaimed independence, the State Department has ranked Serbia among the high risk countries in which a “constant danger” diplomacy will be set up in the same way Americans authorities have done so in the past for Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria amongst others reports the Croatian newspaper “vecernji list”;

The next round of talks, which will be the first to last longer than a day, will take place from the 26 to 28 November in Baden, Austria.

Snejana Jovanovic    www.

Translation : Julien de Cruz