Kosovo-related topics and news were among the most dominant on Russian portals and channels in August, according to a The Geopost analysis.
Although Turkish drones arrived in Kosovo in May, their delivery is still used as a trump card to emphasise that Kosovo is being “militarised”, which they say is “a prelude to a new war in the Balkans”.
A text on the Novorossiya website (04.08) by Yaroslav Merkulov points out that NATO is again violating its agreements with Belgrade – UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo Military Technical Agreement.
The article quotes Serbian Defence Minister Milos Vucevic as saying, “They (NATO) are not really interested in these actions and in public international law. The Albanians not only got five Bajraktar drones, but also very serious anti-tank systems, such as mortars with mines and more, which cannot be underestimated”.
The article also notes that the NATO mission in Kosovo (KFOR) will be led by a Turkish general from autumn, “a real national humiliation for Serbia, since the forced emigration of Slavs from these areas began during the Ottoman occupation.”
The author of the article gives examples of the alleged “desrbisation” of Kosovo.
“At the same time as the militarisation of Kosovo continues, the Serbian population continues to be deliberately pushed out of the region, which regularly faces Albanian attacks and arbitrary arrests.”
The text concludes that it is becoming increasingly dangerous for “Slavs to remain in the region”.
It is argued that Belgrade is unlikely to intervene in this situation “if the escalation of violence does not achieve direct ethnic cleansing”.
And the entire history of the region shows, as he writes, “that such a scenario is unfortunately possible.” In this case, “Serbia, in order to protect the lives of its citizens, will again have to go to war with NATO forces.”
A few days later, the Russian newspapers Izvestia and Kommersant reported that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had warned Ukraine “not to waste its trump cards” (Kommersant 09.08.) – specifically, ” Ukraine can lose everything if it recognizes the independence of Kosovo.” (Izvestia 08.08.).
The position of the Serbian analyst is also presented in the text by Kommersant’s Balkan correspondent Gennady Sisoyev.
“It is obvious that there is a balanced pressure from the West,” says Belgrade-based foreign policy commentator Boško Jakšić.
“At one point, pressure mounted on Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti for his stubborn refusal to form the Association of Serbian Municipalities. Now the West is increasing pressure on Belgrade. Allegedly, Ukraine is actively joining this pressure – with hints of the possibility of recognising Kosovo”.
RIA Novosti (17.08) records a protest by Serbs outside the municipality of Leposavic in north Kosovo, where Radojica Radomirovic, “Assistant Minister for Communities and Return”, who is referred to as “Kurti’s Serb” by the regime media in Serbia, has arrived.
“He and a group of 10 young people, accompanied by police officers, entered the Municipality building. The citizens, who have been protesting for months against the presence of what they consider an illegitimate Albanian mayor, are outraged by Radomirovic’s arrival and the request of the NATO contingent of KFOR not to let anyone into the building,” RIA Novosti reported.
The same Russian media, close to the Kremlin (16.08), compared Kosovo to the Donbas in Ukraine, referring to a statement by Serbian General Luka Kastratovic on the sidelines of a Moscow conference on international security.
“The Albanians, with the help of the United States, are doing to the Serbs in Kosovo what the Kiev regime has been doing to the Russians in Donbas since 2014.” But Putin, Kastratovic told RIA Novosti, “solved the matter”, i.e. “protected the Russians in the Donbas with a special military operation”.
The same conference in Moscow was also attended by Zoltan Dani, a member of the Serbian Parliament from the Socialist Party of Serbia, and Ivica Dačić, head of Serbian diplomacy.
In an interview with Izvestia (24 August), he said that he did not rule out the possibility of a military solution to the Kosovo problem. “We are trying to find a peaceful solution, but we don’t know how long it will last. The red lines are getting closer”, Dani said.
The politician stressed that the Serbian army has a responsibility to protect the sovereignty and integrity of its country.
“At this moment, we consider that part of our country is occupied with the support of the NATO pact”, he said.
Dani even raised the possibility of Serbia recognising Donbas and Crimea as part of Russia.
“Serbia may recognise Crimea and the Donbas as part of Russia, but this will depend on how the international situation develops in the future,” said Dani, a SPS MP who is part of the ruling coalition along with Serbian President Vucic’s Serbian Progressive Party.
He stated that the Serbian government will under no circumstances support European Union sanctions against Russia, not even in exchange for the possibility of joining the union.
At the same time, he acknowledged that Belgrade could consider the possibility of joining the BRICS.
Zoltan Dani also spoke about his military exploits: in 1999, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, his unit was the first to destroy the seemingly invulnerable US F-117s.
The Serbian MEP claims that the echoes of the Yugoslav war can still be heard today. He does not rule out the possibility of Belgrade launching a military operation to reunite with Kosovo, Izvestia reports./The Geopost/