by Slobodan CASULE
Throughout the history of international relations there has never been a case of initiating talks to revise the borders of the original state on the basis of a unilateral request for by entity that has still not seceded from the original state, as if the secession has already taken place, or as a condition for the secession, which has not ended with a war.
When I was foreign minister, I submitted to the United Nations the maps and the instruments for the delimitation of the border between the Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; that is, the Republic of Serbia. At a plenary session of the UN Security Council I warned that the rejection of this border would cause a state of chaos in the Balkans and Europe. The United States, Russia, China, France, the UK and the other non-permanent members of the Security Council supported me. Therefore, bearing in mind this authority, I would like to underline several consequences that our country should tackle.
Namely, the foundations of current European stability and prosperity are the Helsinki documents adopted at the Conference on European Security and Cooperation. They reject any unilateral change of borders, especially if this is accompanied by force and pressure. If we review Ibrahim Rugova's statement that he opposes the border demarcation, it is very clear that he openly undermines the European architecture by making the revision of borders legal, introducing a new principle that makes revision of borders prerequisite for regional security.
His argument that he is "seeking justice" with some delay is not valid.
On the contrary, this is actually an attempt to create the preconditions for Kosovo's independence, based on the general revision of all Balkan borders, through a political statement. This is absolutely unacceptable, because it will certainly have catastrophic influence on the stability of the region and its prosperity. Therefore that this is not an empty and conjunctive [sic] whistling in the wind, but a deliberately expressed political will occurring right before the negotiations on Kosovo's status are put on the agenda in the middle of the year. Otherwise, how can we interpret a whole series of events that marked the beginning of the resolution of Kosovo's status?
First and foremost, there was the tension on the border with Serbia. This culminated with the death of a child, who was shot by a Serbian border patrol when he tried to enter Serbia illegally from Kosovo through the Valley of Presevo, Medveda and Bujanovac [southern Serbia]. Then followed the protests, which, as always, used the murder of an innocent child to stress the "unjust" borders that "crisscross the Albanian lands". The Albanians once again used the opportunity to claim all the territory from the Adriatic Sea and the Albanian Province of Tropoj, all the way to Bulgaria, including Kosovo and the Valley of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac, as "Albanian lands". Almost at the same time, the Lipkovo-Kumanovo branch fiercely reminded the BDI [Democratic Union for Integration] leadership that it had not kept any of the promises that were the excuses for the 2001 war. Moreover, they have also not been compensated for the price that this region had to pay during the war in order to change the government and delimit the Albanians' territory beyond western Macedonia.
It is not accidental that the 2001 armed conflict was most vehemently waged precisely in this area. Hence, it can easily be understood why the ruling coalition is worried that the political stability in the Lipkovo area is once again being undermined. Namely, the self-proclaimed "Albanian corridor" runs along the border between Macedonia and Serbia, near Ljuboten, Aracinovo, Lipkovo, Tanusevci and so on. It begins at the Adriatic Sea and ends in Bulgaria, south of "the borders that crisscross the Albanian lands".
Both conflicts were being waged according to the same scheme of delimiting by blood and sword the area of which Albanians have been unjustly (?) deprived (?). Their statements were focused on the "righteous fight for human rights, abolishment of the apartheid (which did not exist), and eradicating poverty, organized crime, and corruption". However, their objective was apparently territorial. (BDI) Assembly deputy Hysni Shaqiri's testimony in the Assembly was obvious proof that organized crime has not been fully eradicated and that there is a high level of corruption. This can be used in order to understand the economic apartheid that has been created now, three years after the "righteous war"! Shaqiri's statements have revealed the "major national and historical goals"; that is, that Albanians should provide territory to their elite through war, hunger and despair. They will then live on this territory all alone, in misery and fear, as hostages of armed bandits and tribal leaders, and as slaves of organized crime and corruption.
Kosovo President Rugova has completed these vital goals by asking that the Kosovo part of the border between Macedonia and Serbia be revised. Thus, he legitimized the infuriated mob's outbursts in a precise way and presented them as permanent and mandatory in political terms. In his view, all the Kosovo borders are disputed, so they should be reviewed during the negotiations on its status. The Macedonian and Serbian borders are essential here, because they are in the middle of the Albanian territory. The border with Albania will be altered in everyday life. On the other hand, the border with Serbia on the part with Metohija will be the motive for the revision and an award for the "obedient Serbs" who will accept the province's division.
(The author is a representative in the Macedonian Parliament and a former Foreign Minister of Macedonia)