Russia through Serbia will continue to create destabilization in Kosovo, states diplomat Avni Spahiu.
Spahiu in an interview for The Geopost, adds that the notion of hybrid warfare was born and spread by the Kremlin.
“Russia will continue even further, through Serbia, to create destabilization in Kosovo, this is also happening through the use of propaganda of that disinformation campaign and other aspects that create an unsafe situation”, Spahiu emphasizes.
The former first ambassador of Kosovo in Washington D.C. claims that Russia continues to make efforts to cause instability in the Balkan countries.
“As part of this modern hybrid war that it is organizing all the time, Russia has made efforts and continues to make efforts to cause instability in the countries of the Balkans, since we are talking about the Balkans,” he asserts.
Also, according to Spahiu, the White House is trying to reorient Serbia towards the European Union and the United States of America.
“It is clear now that Washington is also trying to reorient Serbia towards the EU, towards EU policy, towards the United States of America, hoping that the Serbian policy of holding two chairs will end and that Serbia will eventually return,” says Spahiu.
The Kosovar diplomat tells the case of how Serbian propaganda had slandered Kosovo, after concluding an agreement with the American state of Iowa.
“I remember when we signed the agreement with the US federal state of Iowa, we created an interstate partnership, I was there, we signed with the governor of Iowa this partnership.”
The next day, the Serbian ambassador made a reaction in the American media about; what this partnership is, Kosovo is not a state, in their anti-Kosovo jargon, and I had to send them a letter the next day as a reaction to these media, which they had kindness, a large number of them published this reaction, so we were constantly in a confrontation between the Serbian side that was spreading this disinformation and us who were trying to spread the truth about Kosovo”, says the diplomat.
In this interview, Spahiu also talked about how the USA and the EU should have a greater focus on the Balkans.
“I think that the USA and the EU should have a greater focus on the Balkans in other countries, in which Serbia or Russia through Serbia is trying to realize its aspirations”, concluded Spahiu.
The Geopost: Serbo-Russian disinformation against Kosovo from your point of view?
The notion of hybrid war was actually born and spread by Russia, its hegemonic policy in different regions of the world, especially in the Balkans where it has also used propaganda which is part of this modern hybrid war that it is organizing, and all the time Russia has tried and continues to cause instability in the countries of the Balkans (since we are talking about the Balkans), let alone other countries, in the most drastic case we have the invasion and aggression in Ukraine.
One of the main tools used by the Russian state, Russian diplomacy, is propaganda, the spread of untruths, half-truths, the creation of various doubts, ambiguities, and this has now become a continuation of this policy, which is very evident and is not secret but it is open, and it does this also through countries that are serving or continue to serve Russia as a means to realize Russian aspirations.
The Geopost: Can you tell us any specific case during your time as a diplomat where Russia and Serbia have directly sabotaged Kosovo?
Russia has always had a hostile attitude towards Kosovo. When we sent invitations to our embassy events, any press releases or information that we sent to all the embassies, they would immediately bounce back saying we don’t know who you are. But we also met at the tables, faced and confronted each other very often, but not only with Russia but also with the representatives of the Serbian state, who at every moment when they had the opportunity attacked Kosovo, mainly with untruths, hiding what had actually happened in Kosovo. Attempts at genocide, ethnic cleansing, discrimination, repression, all these were hidden by accusing the Kosovar side, as they do today, and it was our duty to oppose this attack.
I remember when we signed the agreement with the US Federal state of Iowa, we created an interstate partnership with Iowa, I was there, and we signed with the governor of Iowa this partnership. The next day, the Serbian ambassador made a reaction in the American media about what this partnership is, Kosovo is not a state, in their anti-Kosovo jargon, and I had to send a letter the next day as a reaction to this to the American media, who had the kindness and a large number of media published this reaction, so we were constantly in a confrontation between the Serbian side that spread this misinformation and us who tried to spread the truth about Kosovo.
The Geopost: Western diplomacy towards Serbia, will it succeed or will it be deceived by Serbia?
It is clear now that Washington is also trying to re-orient Serbia towards the EU, towards EU policy, towards the United States of America, hoping that the Serbian policy of holding two chairs will end and that Serbia will eventually turn, it will join the Western Alliance and the European Union, which it verbally expresses as an aspiration.
I think that, now, speaking as an individual, that this approach will prove to be unrealistic in the future because we know this mentality, we have lived with it, we have suffered from this mentality of theirs and Serbia does not give up on Russia, any pressure from the international community in this direction is useless because thanks to Russia Serbia has become a state, thanks to Russia it has expanded, thanks to Russia it has reached a position of a strong state in the Balkans and without this support Serbia does not believe that it can be the main factor as it is trying to be today.
It is therefore understandable that the US and the EU are making efforts in this direction, it is my personal impression that they will not succeed in this.
The Geopost: Montenegro, Kosovo and Bosnia & Herzegovina, a trio facing Serbia, how do you see this?
I am relating to the previous question why does the west have such an approach? I think that the USA and the EU should have a greater focus on the Balkans in other countries in which Serbia or Russia through Serbia is trying to realize its aspirations. We saw what happened in Montenegro, there is a government that, at least, is pro-Serbian and pro-Russian, the future will show what orientation it will actually have, we know the issue of Bosnia, there are efforts to create instability, even to endanger the state of Bosnia through Dodik, there are efforts in other parts as well, including the north of Kosovo.
There has been information that armed persons with ties to Russia have been seen in that part, that is, it is a direct threat to peace and a violation of Kosovo’s sovereignty, and I think that the international community should take all this into account, maybe even there is, but in that visible aspect and what we are seeing is precisely the focus with Serbia now.
Russia will continue even further through Serbia to create destabilization in Kosovo, this is also happening through the use of propaganda of that disinformation campaign and other aspects, other means that create unsafe situations, unstable situations in the country and with this, the peace in the Balkans is completely endangered and the goal of these countries to be part of the European Union is also endangered.
I think that the EU and the US should urgently do this, and by this I do not want to suggest that they make a wrong policy, but it should be seen at this moment that this represents a general danger to peace in the Balkans. /TheGeopost/