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kaitak
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Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:36 pm

Over the last few weeks, Russia has taken a rather intimidating approach to Kosova* and its independence drive (expected to be imminent). Among the threats it has made is that it won't be allowed to join any international bodies and that Russia had some (as yet undisclosed) plan of action if Kosova did declare independence. It has also threatened Georgia with consequences (relating to the enclaves of South Ossetia and the other one) if it backed Kosovan independence.

Now, I know that Russia and Serbia have a strong relationship, but why is it going to such lengths - in public, as it were - to intimidate Kosova? How does it actually gain from this?

Could it be that the media is focusing on it as a "David and Goliath" story, to portray Putin and Russia in a negative light, but the fact is that Russia has said these things.

God help the first Kosovan ambassador to Moscow (well, at least he'll be one up on the first ambassador to Belgrade!)

(*I've used the word Kosova rather than Kosovo, as this is what the new country will be called).
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:03 pm



Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
How does it actually gain from this?

If Kossova goes free the worry is that every little enclave in Russia (specifically Chechnya) will want to go the same route. Simple as that.
 
jcs17
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:03 pm

Putin believes/desires that Russia is still a global superpower and has a right to a sphere of influence thoughout the former CIS, Balkans, and the Middle East. Is Russia still a global superpower? Debatable at best. Although the energy boom has brought riches to the country, the fact remains that it remains a very poor nation outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg and health crises are ravaging the Russian population. Putin, to a much lesser degree, is in the mold of Hitler. He plays to Russians' memories of a strong and relevant USSR, while ignoring critical domestic issues. And the scary part is that it works for the most part.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:20 pm



Quoting JCS17 (Reply 2):
And the scary part is that it works for the most part.

Plus he eliminates any opposition, both figuratively and literally
 
pelican
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:53 pm



Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
Now, I know that Russia and Serbia have a strong relationship, but why is it going to such lengths - in public, as it were - to intimidate Kosova? How does it actually gain from this?

Because there are elections in Russia in 3 weeks...

pelican
 
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:00 am



Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
Now, I know that Russia and Serbia have a strong relationship, but why is it going to such lengths - in public, as it were - to intimidate Kosova? How does it actually gain from this?

IMO, Kosovo is a political duel between the EU - and US to a lesser extent - and Russia. Serbia is the only remaining area where Russia has any real influence in Europe, sort of a Russian island within the EU - which is, IMO, the only reason why Russia is taking any interest in preventing the independence of Kosovo - and the EU is taking an interest in forcing it.

By trying to intimidate the Kosovars into fearing the consequences should they declare independence, Putin is trying - un-diplomatically, but still without any serious force - to keep this "island" as big as it can be. If you look at Serbia's strategic position - right on the major transit routes between Europe and the Middle East, and smack dab in the middle of the so-far all-European Danube waterway - you'll see where Putin's interests lie. The Russian missile shield - suggested to be deployed in Serbia - doesn't really help matters either.
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:07 am



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 1):
If Kossova goes free the worry is that every little enclave in Russia (specifically Chechnya) will want to go the same route. Simple as that.

Actually, that's a problem faced by a number of countries within the EU itself, if local press reports are to be believed. Countries that oppose Kosovar independence are Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria if I remember correctly - countries with minorities/regions that have been trying to gain independence for a number of years.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:09 am



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 5):
IMO, Kosovo is a political duel between the EU - and US to a lesser extent - and Russia. Serbia is the only remaining area where Russia has any real influence in Europe, sort of a Russian island within the EU - which is, IMO, the only reason why Russia is taking any interest in preventing the independence of Kosovo - and the EU is taking an interest in forcing it.

Yes, but the Serbians re-elected Tadic for another term, which means that they want a Serbia that is closer to the EU than Russia. That being said, I recall during the elections that both presidential candidates in Serbia were against the independence of Kosovo, though Tadic will very likely want to resolve this diplomatically while the other candidate, who is a pro-Russia Ultranationalist, could have threatened with re-starting the war. At least that's my impression of the issue right now.
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:50 am



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 7):
Yes, but the Serbians re-elected Tadic for another term, which means that they want a Serbia that is closer to the EU than Russia. That being said, I recall during the elections that both presidential candidates in Serbia were against the independence of Kosovo, though Tadic will very likely want to resolve this diplomatically while the other candidate, who is a pro-Russia Ultranationalist, could have threatened with re-starting the war. At least that's my impression of the issue right now.

The elections do show that a majority people themselves are leaning toward the EU - however, like with all countries in this area, Serbian political spheres are a different story and are still quite fragmented. Tadic won by not much of a margin, still indicating a significant split in the "upper management" - as well as in the opinions of voters. And such a political sphere is easily pressured and persuaded by a power like Russia, which has always had rather close relations with Serbia. All one - with the political and economic power of Russia (in relation to our Balkan states) - has to do is simply nudge a radical party and you already tipped the balance of power. Maybe not significantly, but enough to change a few political opinions and allegiances.

I myself do not believe that Nikolic would have intervened militarily - the Serbian military is not as powerful as the old Yugoslav was, and in the event of war wouldn't just be facing our rag-tag local military forces, but possibly NATO - but he would have made A LOT more noise. Unlike Tadic, who is pushing the country toward the EU, Nikolic has nothing to lose if he makes a fuss over it, and even less to lose if he draws out and opposes Kosovar independence every step of the way.
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:33 pm

Quoting JCS17 (Reply 2):
Putin, to a much lesser degree, is in the mold of Hitler.

No. Putin apparently has no interest in persecuting any specific groups apart from political opposition of any kind (although racist and even nazi groups are given free reign in current Russia). He much more resembles a would-be Stalin than Hitler. The "rehabilitation" of Stalin in the government-controlled media is clear testament to that as well.


To the topic of Kosova: The EU is ready to deploy a substantial aid mission for the construction of stable governmental structures with diplomats, lawyers and other administrative experts.

In the pre-independence situation Kosova has apparently developed a significant corruption "culture" in the past years.

The official declaration of independence is apparently scheduled for 15:00 on sunday.

Let's hope for the best!

[Edited 2008-02-16 07:44:18]
 
connies4ever
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:12 pm



Quoting JCS17 (Reply 2):
Putin believes/desires that Russia is still a global superpower and has a right to a sphere of influence thoughout the former CIS, Balkans, and the Middle East. Is Russia still a global superpower? Debatable at best.

I think Putin's point is Slavic solidarity.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):

In the pre-independence situation Kosova has apparently developed a significant corruption "culture" in the past years.

Unfortunately, a common occurrence these days in many parts of the world.
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 4:26 pm



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 1):
If Kossova goes free the worry is that every little enclave in Russia (specifically Chechnya) will want to go the same route. Simple as that.

 thumbsup  Thats exactly it . The thing that should be on the EU and Russia's mind now is trying to turn Kosovo into a democratic European state and safe guarding the rights of the remaining Serbs in the province (soon to be country). The EU has a huge say in any new independent Kosovo so it may be achievable. The next 7 days will be critical.
 
cfalk
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:25 pm



Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
Now, I know that Russia and Serbia have a strong relationship, but why is it going to such lengths - in public, as it were - to intimidate Kosova? How does it actually gain from this?

That relationship was what kicked off Big Mistake #1 in 1914. Just a thought...
 
L-188
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:59 pm



Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
Now, I know that Russia and Serbia have a strong relationship, but why is it going to such lengths - in public, as it were - to intimidate Kosova? How does it actually gain from this?

That relationship was what kicked off Big Mistake #1 in 1914. Just a thought...

Yup, all that because somebody forgot to tell the driver the parade route was changed.
 
dc863
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:37 am

As a Serbian American I hope Serbia joins the EU. At the same time I am disturbed by the EU/U.S. bypassing int'l law by recognizing Kosovo.
I hope the northern part of Kosovo(where Serbs and Roma are a majority) breaks away and joins Serbia.
 
Pyrex
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:48 am



Quoting Kaitak (Thread starter):
Now, I know that Russia and Serbia have a strong relationship, but why is it going to such lengths - in public, as it were - to intimidate Kosova?

Because the country doesn't have a leg to stand on? Seriously, just look at Albania and how successful it has been and you get an idea of what it will look like, only ten times worst. What Europe basically did (to satisfy the German thirst for revenge against the Serbians) was commit itself to an ever-lasting occupation of part of the Balkans - the day European troops get out from there the country will fall back into total chaos, with Albanians trying to wipe out the few remaining Serbs they haven't managed to cleanse and local war/druglords freely assuming the reigns of the "country".

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 1):
If Kossova goes free the worry is that every little enclave in Russia (specifically Chechnya) will want to go the same route.

Not only that - if an area of Serbia occupied by Albanian migrants is allowed to seceede then what legitimacy has Spain/the EU to deny the Basques (which, btw, have their own language and culture) independence? Or put pressure on Turkey to stop recognizing Northern Cyprus? Heck, if we're going this way what is to stop Marseille from wanting to join Algeria?
 
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TripleDelta
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:06 am

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 15):
Because the country doesn't have a leg to stand on? Seriously, just look at Albania and how successful it has been and you get an idea of what it will look like, only ten times worst. What Europe basically did (to satisfy the German thirst for revenge against the Serbians) was commit itself to an ever-lasting occupation of part of the Balkans - the day European troops get out from there the country will fall back into total chaos, with Albanians trying to wipe out the few remaining Serbs they haven't managed to cleanse and local war/druglords freely assuming the reigns of the "country".

Not only that. You can look at the issue from an economic perspective as well. Back in Yugoslavia, every country contributed something to the overall state of the economy, which was not on par with that of Western Europe, but was miles ahead of the Eastern Block. You had tourism in Slovenia and Croatia, industry and agriculture in Serbia and Bosnia, more tourism in what is today Montenegro and a dab more of agriculture and metallurgy in Macedonia - plus a lot of other miscellaneous industries in all countries based on whatever resources found there. Overall different parts contributed different things to the whole.

When Yugoslavia fell apart in 1991., each country ended up with the share of industry it had before the split, and no income from a central government. Slovenia and Croatia, which both needed 15+ years to reach pre-war economy levels, have done so largely thanks to tourism (winter tourism in Slovenia (the Alps) and summer tourism in Croatia (the Adriatic)) and their position near major European states. Slovenia has land borders with Italy and Austria, while Croatia has a quite long maritime border with Italy.

Now, look at Kosovo. A country without a strong population base, without industry and a developed economic sector and with little starting base for developing one. And its neighbors: Serbia, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. No offense to the people living there, but its not really a G8 club is it? Montenegro could have pulled it off in similar circumstances, however they have a - very beautiful - stretch of Adriatic and a historic base for tourism much like Croatia has, plus again open access to the world seas. Kosovo? Landlocked in mountains with nothing but international aid to live on in the first few years. If anything for that reason I believe an independent Kosovo is a big mistake - nevermind being collateral damage in a school-yard fight between the EU/US and Russia.

EDIT: one would think what's next in ex-Yu. City states?

[Edited 2008-02-16 23:12:46]
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 9:22 am



Quoting Dc863 (Reply 14):
I hope the northern part of Kosovo(where Serbs and Roma are a majority) breaks away and joins Serbia.

 thumbsup  Yes and they certainly have the right to do so . I hope that they have a referendem and declare annex to Serbia if thats what they want its their destiny.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 15):
Heck, if we're going this way what is to stop Marseille from wanting to join Algeria?

 thumbsup 

Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 16):
Kosovo? Landlocked in mountains with nothing but international aid to live on in the first few years. If anything for that reason I believe an independent Kosovo is a big mistake - nevermind being collateral damage in a school-yard fight between the EU/US and Russia.

 thumbsup 

It certainly wont be a easy ride for an independant Kosovo. There are talks of economic blockades and internal security problems. The EU mission will be there for the next 10 years at least !!!
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 11:09 am



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 15):
What Europe basically did (to satisfy the German thirst for revenge against the Serbians) was commit itself to an ever-lasting occupation of part of the Balkans

In what century are you living?

An independent Kosova is simply the direct result of Slobodan Milosevic's delusions of "grand Serbia". You mistreat parts of your population, you lose them. Simple as that.

Could of course work out similarly if the kosovars should mistreat their serbian minority, but human rights abuses like that would not be tolerated by the EU.
 
JoKeR
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:11 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):

An independent Kosova is simply the direct result of Slobodan Milosevic's delusions of "grand Serbia". You mistreat parts of your population, you lose them. Simple as that.

An independent Kosovo is the result of a new world order where the powerful are free and able to bypass, twist and turn international law as they please, to suite their national interests.

Yes Milosevic was a dictator, we in Serbia suffered an equal amount of oppression (if not more) than all the other parties, who too committed unspeakable crimes (which you conveniently sidelined), and majority of Serbs actually denounce the actions of Milosevic and his thugs - many have been prosecuted and convicted in Serbia-proper, yet...

Klaus, if tomorrow your Turkish minority decides that they want a piece of Germany, and you tell them no, then they start killing your people because their demands are not satisfied - you take action against their guerrillas which turns out into anti-German propaganda, and then you get bombed for your actions and loose, say Bavaria, how would you feel?

If Albanians are not happy in Serbia, go back to Albania - to your country, they do have a country afterall. Isn't this what you tell your guests in Germany if they are not happy in your country?
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:20 pm



Quoting JoKeR (Reply 19):
An independent Kosovo is the result of a new world order where the powerful are free and able to bypass, twist and turn international law as they please, to suite their national interests.

Boo hoo.If Serbia hadn't given in to Milosevic's madness, you could today still live in an intact and hopefully peaceful Jugoslavia, with a decent economy and a strong influx of foreign currency through tourism and industry and at least the option to join the EU at your pleasure (or not).

Milosevic gambled big and Serbia followed him - and both lost severely as a result. Actions have consequences.

A few germans are also still whining about the significant areas Germany lost as a result of the World War Germany itself had started. At some point the chicken just come home to roost. Tough shit. Get on with your life and try to make the best of it.


That said, I'm well aware that none of the parties in the civil war came out of it smelling like roses, regardless of who initially started it; An independent Kosova is required to observe and guarantee the human rights for its own minorities exactly as much as every other country.
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:30 pm

Apparently Kosova has now declared its independence.

Good luck to everyone and all the best!

Kosovo declares independence from Serbia - CNN.com
 
Flighty
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:42 pm

Here in USA, we ignore him because he isn't that important.

But he is independent, so unlike say, our leaders, his speeches do reflect his true positions. So it is interesting to watch.

Quoting JoKeR (Reply 19):


If Albanians are not happy in Serbia, go back to Albania - to your country, they do have a country afterall.

This is a slippery slope. In both directions, as you say. We should safeguard the integrity of countries. Just because Serbia is young and relatively unstable, we are content to see it divided. The grievances of any minority seem justified to us, because we don't take the time to learn the specifics on what happened. But yes, we should look closely at the origin of these separatist groups and assess their validity case by case. Some would-be "new states" are completely unacceptable. "Slave-Alabama" for example. or "Drug-Yucatan" for a couple of made up ones.

Over here, if we have a separatist movement, our solution is simple. We disarm those persons, and round them up as criminals. Putin is just on the precipice of being able to do that. But he cannot. His military is not capable enough (in that mission role). This is very distressing for Putin, as it should be. But he is attempting to govern areas that historically were not under Russo-Soviet control. I don't know about Chechnya, but some areas under Putin's control SHOULD be separate. Like Ukraine, which is losing independence day by day it seems.

So neither side is by definition right. The Sebians may have shirked their duty to govern tiny Kosovo. Such a small place hardly merits statehood. It's just that nobody WANTS to govern it that it consensually seems to be independent now. Poison the milk, as they say.
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:04 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 20):
Boo hoo.If Serbia hadn't given in to Milosevic's madness, you could today still live in an intact and hopefully peaceful Jugoslavia, with a decent economy and a strong influx of foreign currency through tourism and industry and at least the option to join the EU at your pleasure (or not).

That would never have happened and anyone that knows anything about the Balkans would not make a stupid comment like that !!! It goes back well before Milosevic's time!!!! It was always destined to be broken up irrelevant of what was done or not done by various people. They all have blood on their hands in all Former Yugoslav states. Certain people just like to pick on Serbia because of Milosevic. They were all at it and killing eachother.
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:26 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 23):
Certain people just like to pick on Serbia because of Milosevic. They were all at it and killing eachother.

Serbian chauvinism was the primary driver of the escalation, even though it was increasingly eagerly answered in kind from various other sides. Serbia shelters major war criminals to this very day. If you want people's sympathy, that's not the way to get it.
 
aircatalonia
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:33 pm



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 6):
Countries that oppose Kosovar independence are Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria if I remember correctly - countries with minorities/regions that have been trying to gain independence for a number of years.



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 15):
Not only that - if an area of Serbia occupied by Albanian migrants is allowed to seceede then what legitimacy has Spain/the EU to deny the Basques (which, btw, have their own language and culture) independence?

Indeed. I think Spain is worried about... us  Smile I love this situation because it is no-no for Spain. They can't simply accept Kosovo indepence (then, how would they deny the same to basques or catalans?) but then they have to recognise it because most international organisations will.
 
OlegShv
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:34 pm

I hate to admit it, but I think that Putin has a good point. Independence of Kosovo will set up a nasty precedent that may cause a lot of trouble around the world. It's not just about Russia and Chechnya. There are Basques in Spain, Northern Cyprus, Georgia and Abhazia, etc.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 22):
Over here, if we have a separatist movement, our solution is simple. We disarm those persons, and round them up as criminals. Putin is just on the precipice of being able to do that. But he cannot. His military is not capable enough (in that mission role).

Really? Last time I checked he actually succeeded in Chechnya.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 20):
Boo hoo.If Serbia hadn't given in to Milosevic's madness, you could today still live in an intact and hopefully peaceful Jugoslavia, with a decent economy and a strong influx of foreign currency through tourism and industry and at least the option to join the EU at your pleasure (or not).


Klaus, I usually agree with you, but here you are way off the mark.
 
Flighty
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 5:15 pm



Quoting OlegShv (Reply 28):

Really? Last time I checked he actually succeeded in Chechnya.

Barely. Could he do it again, not so sure. He is clearly nervous -- which is the whole point of this thread.

Urban warfare etc is very difficult, even for us with lots of equipment. This Kosovo thing is a new model which is possibly exploiting not only Putin's troubles in Chechnya, but the USA's efforts in Iraq.

It's more clear now how a small group -- a city-state maybe of ethnic significance -- could rally around a warlord and secede from their country. Bad news. It is an open question whether small regions have a valid reason -- or practical ability -- to form their own countries. Is the power / strength of their over-government the only variable? That is, can a weak government hold its territory? Or will we see various nations such as Russia simply crumble along regional / tribal lines?

Again, Iraq figures in this debate. Should Iraq be divided along tribal lines, or should it remain a united country? People get very emotional about this. Dividing countries lasts forever and comes at high cost. It changes world history. More small countries also may promote volatility, or stability depending on what your beliefs are.
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:00 pm

Well the rioting has started already in Belgrade and the US Embassy has been attatcked . Also hand grenades have been thrown in Kosovo at the EU and UN buildings !!!!!
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:06 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 34):
Well the rioting has started already in Belgrade and the US Embassy has been attatcked . Also hand grenades have been thrown in Kosovo at the EU and UN buildings !!!!!

The only thing I know of so far is a hand grenade thrown at the EU building in Mitrovica. Bad enough, of course, and not exactly an argument for the good intentions of the serbian side as a whole. The serbian fanatics are apparently still trying to drag the entire population down with them.
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:12 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 35):
Bad enough, of course, and not exactly an argument for the good intentions of the serbian side as a whole. The serbian fanatics are apparently still trying to drag the entire population down with them.

Well it was always going to be one side celebrating and one side angry !!! So doesnt suprise me. It will be interesting to see what happens at the UN tomorrow though and Tuesday. Russia is going to try and get a motion to condemn it. Also it throws up other issues with the UN troops.

I have to say the new flag is better than I thought it would be .
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:18 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 36):
Well it was always going to be one side celebrating and one side angry !!! So doesnt suprise me.

Sure... but hand grenades are still more than just slightly over the top. I just hope nobody got hurt.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 36):
It will be interesting to see what happens at the UN tomorrow though and Tuesday. Russia is going to try and get a motion to condemn it. Also it throws up other issues with the UN troops.

I'm sure Putin will think he'd have to make convincing noises in order to not look weak. As if that was the point here.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 36):
I have to say the new flag is better than I thought it would be .

What does it look like?
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:27 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 29):
a) you were talking about dominant majorities in major regions and

b) there were brutal human rights abuses up to the level of progroms against them by the government.

So is that the case in Germany or in France?

They are not a dominant majority yet as a whole region is concerned, but they are indeed if you look at some of the big cities and will be. Human rights abuses? Certainly crap treatment by the French is already apparent.
 
Derico
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:27 pm

Well, it's always interesting to see these things unfold. On the one had you have quite a few countries supporting Kosovo's independence, including the European Union. Oh the irony of that... Yet these same countries would never allow parts of their own countries to become independent (EU, US, etc), and would use anything including violation of human rights to keep it so. On the other hand, you have less than stellar governments like Serbia and Russia, which always seem to be at the wrong end of things. I'm not saying this situation is another example, but in general just seem to be always on the 'other side', so their reputation when they do choose sides is already suspect, even if in that case it is correct. Like the boy that cried wolf...

Serbia should have been integrated to the EU long ago. It's not me saying these things, one of my best friends in Argentina is mostly Serbian in background (Petrich), who is opposed to this and who does claim Serbians are severely mistreated in Kosovo, still he blames a lot of this on Serbia's pariah status for so long, which has made the country few friends in the last 20 years.

Here in the Americas there have always been separatists movements, in southern Mexico, in the United States, in Canada, in southern Brazil, in Chilean Patagonia, in Bolivia (currently), in Venezuela, etc. These movements still exist today, but only occasionaly do they become violent.

Since the 1853 constitution, there has never been any part of Argentina that wanted to secede, the only 'large' country in the Western hemisphere not to have any separatist movement, something we are very proud of. In fact, 9 provinces joined since then. We really do not comprehend secession movements unless they are very clear cut (like language differences, etc).
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:41 pm



Quoting Derico (Reply 39):
Serbia should have been integrated to the EU long ago

Yes and I hope that moves now come to fast track them into the EU and more economic support is given to Belgrade. This has been a bitter pill for Serbia to swallow so Europeans must try to improve the lifestyles of Serbians and help them to prosper.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 37):
What does it look like?

From what I could make out it was Blue with the map of Kosovo on it. They also had Stars around the map , Im not sure what the stars mean !!!
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:47 pm

Thats the Albanian flag !!!! Its not the new Kosovan flag !!!
 
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yowza
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:59 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 43):
Thats the Albanian flag !!!! Its not the new Kosovan flag !!!

Beat me to it. There seems to be some confusion over what the new flag will be. I will post it when I know for sure.


YOWza
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:05 pm

The New Kosovo flag :::

 
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LTU932
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:05 pm

I don't know about Kosovo declaring its independence. Maybe the best for both could have been that Serbia would become once again a Federal Republic, where all of its provinces (Vojvodina, Serbia and Kosovo) could remain united under a federalistic system similar to the US and Germany, with only few (mostly) domestic and foreign issues handled centrally out of Belgrade. It does sound a bit hypocritical that some countries of the EU support the independence of Kosovo and yet don't bother addressing separatist movements in their own countries except mostly through violence (and not all separatist movements use violence themselves) or indifference.

Personally, in the case of Kosovo, I would have preferred a political "re-configuration" of Serbia to a Federal Republic, with the assistance of certain countries, and through this way Kosovo can get what it wants (which is more autonomy) and the two other Serbian provinces would get what they want (stability in domestic policy), thus also leaving the door open for Serbia to join the EU. Only once that is done is there even the possibility of successful damage control and get the Albanians in the region to actually have cordial relations with Serbians again.

One big problem here is that many Serbians only want to mind their own business, but those who live in Kosovo may be going through hell because the Kosovo-Albanians are treating them like shit, just because they're Serbians. I'm sure most Kosovo-Albanians and Serbians could care less about politics, simply want to mind their own business and have a peaceful and cordial co-existence with each other, and yet the only people we hear from are those who are either against or for Kosovo's independence. Why don't we hear from those who simply want stability in their region, regardless of independence or not? Why only care about the black and white, and leave the shades of grey aside?

But for now, what is done is done, and there's probably not much we can do about it except probably trading insults between each other and stop holding a civil discussion like some people are doing.  Yeah sure
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:07 pm



Quoting OA260 (Reply 43):
Thats the Albanian flag !!!! Its not the new Kosovan flag !!!

Thanks for missing the point... completely!  Yeah sure

Quoting YOWza (Reply 44):
what the new flag will be

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/Flag_of_Kosovo.svg
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:09 pm



Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 42):
Since they already exist de facto nothing suggest we won't have them de iure at one point. Come back in let's say 20 years...

Which is why I said for now...Grandpa Sauerkraut Klaus will be dead by then anyway so by default we wont be able to prove him wrong

Quoting YOWza (Reply 44):
Beat me to it. There seems to be some confusion over what the new flag will be. I will post it when I know for sure.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1f/Flag_of_Kosovo.svg/800px-Flag_of_Kosovo.svg.png

I found this
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:12 pm



Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 49):
I found this

Its certainly alot nicer than the Albanian flag IMHO.
 
aircatalonia
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:31 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 30):
Big difference: Modern democratic Spain has not and does not suppress the regional minorities.

I can't agree more. They are perfectly ok with "regional minorities". The problem is they won't accept Spain is not made of regional minorities. Spain is made of 4 nations which should be respected, put at the same level, and treated equally.

You might not be very familiar with the reality in Spain. It's ok, just to give you an idea: catalan politicians are not even allowed to speak catalan at the national parliament. Talk about equality and repect.

They don't want it this way? They don't want a country with 4 national languages (See Switzerland, etc.) and a plurinational setting? It's perfectly ok, then we are just free to hold a referendum and decide where we want to belong. No big deal.

[Edited 2008-02-17 11:39:45]
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:44 pm



Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 38):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 29):
a) you were talking about dominant majorities in major regions and

b) there were brutal human rights abuses up to the level of progroms against them by the government.

So is that the case in Germany or in France?

They are not a dominant majority yet as a whole region is concerned, but they are indeed if you look at some of the big cities and will be. Human rights abuses? Certainly crap treatment by the French is already apparent.

They are a smaller minority here than the afro-american population in the USA. And for all the existing problems, there are no systematic human rights abuses and no discrimination by the government. Your comparison is completely ludicrous and doesn't even have a toe to stand on, let alone a leg.

Quoting Derico (Reply 39):
On the one had you have quite a few countries supporting Kosovo's independence, including the European Union. Oh the irony of that... Yet these same countries would never allow parts of their own countries to become independent (EU, US, etc), and would use anything including violation of human rights to keep it so.

Suppression of languages or culture is a violation of human rights. Getting thrown into jail for throwing bombs at or otherwise assassinating citizens is not a violation of human rights.

Quoting Derico (Reply 39):
On the other hand, you have less than stellar governments like Serbia and Russia, which always seem to be at the wrong end of things.

Do you really think it's due to "unfair treatment" of Russia by the evil, evil EU that Putin brutally suppresses any opposition?

Quoting Derico (Reply 39):
Serbia should have been integrated to the EU long ago.

There's just that tiny little problem of official Serbia still harbouring war criminals, refusing to bring them to justice and justifying atrocities during the civil war.

Serbia is welcome, but that kind of conduct is an insurmountable obstacle as long as it continues.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 40):
From what I could make out it was Blue with the map of Kosovo on it. They also had Stars around the map , Im not sure what the stars mean !!!

Kosovo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is it:



According to ARD Tagesschau, the six stars symbolize the six population groups. And the symbolic association with the European Union could hardly be any clearer.

They have apparently taken pains to avoid any albanian symbolism. Good choice.

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 41):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 18):
Could of course work out similarly if the kosovars should mistreat their serbian minority, but human rights abuses like that would not be tolerated by the EU.

Oh really? And what century have YOU been living in? Those things have happened ever since the UÇK took control of Kosovo with help from the EU and the US.

And you believe that the EU and US involvement increases the motivation to commit discriminations?

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 41):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 30):
Big difference: Modern democratic Spain has not and does not suppress the regional minorities.

Yeah, right. Just try setting up a political party to defend the right of Euskera (Basque Country) to independence and see how long you will last before judge Baltazar Garzon throws you in jail. (and no, this is not a hypothetical scenario, this happens all the time in Spain).

Oh, those poor, poor bomb-throwers! Their "rights" are being infringed by the evil, evil police...!  crazy 

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 41):
One question on international law - will there have to be a motion in the UN to recognize Kosovo as an independent country and grant it member status? If so, can Russia veto it?

As far as I can tell it would be a question of the UN charta, and if I'm not mistaken a qualified majority in the general assembly is "all" it takes.
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:54 pm



Quoting AirCatalonia (Reply 51):
I can't agree more. They are perfectly ok with "regional minorities". The problem is they won't accept Spain is not made of regional minorities. Spain is made of 4 nations which should be respected, put at the same level, and treated equally.

You might not be very familiar with the reality in Spain. It's ok, just to give you an idea: catalan politicians are not even allowed to speak catalan at the national parliament. Talk about equality and repect.

I'm aware of the aggressive catalan regionalism movement.

But given that only a minority of spaniards can even understand catalan as far as I know but every catalan can understand spanish, it would be a major imposition just for symbolism's sake. It would be discrimination if people were punished for speaking catalan, but forcing it on everybody else is an entirely different matter.

You'd actually have to convince the rest of Spain to change the rules, not demand it ultimatively as at least some of the catalan extremists do as far as I know.

In a community the other people actually do matter as well!
 
aircatalonia
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:07 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 53):
the aggressive catalan regionalism movement

roftl

Quoting Klaus (Reply 53):
But given that only a minority of spaniards can even understand catalan as far as I know but every catalan can understand spanish, it would be a major imposition just for symbolism's sake.

Sure. Spanish is compulsory at schools in Catalonia, but as far as I know Catalan is not in Castille, the Basque country or anywhere else (nor that it should). Again talk about equality. Why is the language of the people of castille more important than mine? Oh, I guess I'm an agressive regionalist.
 
Pyrex
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:11 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 52):
And you believe that the EU and US involvement increases the motivation to commit discriminations?

What I believe (or, better speaking, am sure of) is that EU "peacekeepers" are the only thing standing between the few remaining Serbian villages the Albanians haven't managed to wipe out and complete extermination. Point being, this "country" will have to be permanently occupied by foreign military forces (there is no end in sight for a complete withdrawal).

Quoting Klaus (Reply 52):
Oh, those poor, poor bomb-throwers! Their "rights" are being infringed by the evil, evil police...!

And attitudes like that are precisely why the Basque country will never have peace if things continue the way they are. People like you (or at least like the ones you support) try to suppress every possible peaceful manifestation of a desire for independence (from newspapers to political parties) and all of a sudden act very surprised when youth start rioting in the streets or people resort to other violent ways to express themselves. What do you expect people to do, just say "I really wanted my rights respected, but since I cannot express my views in public I will just stand here in a corner and take care of my cows"?
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:17 pm



Quoting AirCatalonia (Reply 54):
Sure. Spanish is compulsory at schools in Catalonia, but as far as I know Catalan is not in Castille, the Basque country or anywhere else (nor that it should). Again talk about equality. Why is the language of the people of castille more important than mine? Oh, I guess I'm an agressive regionalist.

There is one national language and several regional ones. If the regional ones are supposed to be elevated to the status of mandatory administrative languages alongside the national one, it will take a public process which goes beyond just demands. You'll actually have to make your case and gain publicsupport on the national level.

It was received rather negatively when Catalonia was the featured region in the recent book fair in Germany and catalonian writers who happened to write in spanish were excluded by the catalonian side. Nothing less than discrimination.

This is exactly not the way to raise sympathies for regional autonomy!
 
Klaus
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:23 pm



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 56):
And attitudes like that are precisely why the Basque country will never have peace if things continue the way they are.

Are you joking?

Quoting Pyrex (Reply 56):
People like you (or at least like the ones you support) try to suppress every possible peaceful manifestation of a desire for independence (from newspapers to political parties) and all of a sudden act very surprised when youth start rioting in the streets or people resort to other violent ways to express themselves. What do you expect people to do, just say "I really wanted my rights respected, but since I cannot express my views in public I will just stand here in a corner and take care of my cows"?

As far as I know the basque population is very much allowed to express its culture and local and regional elections are universal, free and fair.

That basque chauvinists are not permitted to have free reign as they please but actually have to deal with democratic opposition is hardly an imposition.
 
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OA260
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RE: Putin Getting Worked Up Over Kosova; Why?

Sun Feb 17, 2008 8:25 pm



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 56):
Point being, this "country" will have to be permanently occupied by foreign military forces (there is no end in sight for a complete withdrawal).

Yep you are 100% correct . So as long as everyone understands that then its OK. This is an Independence of sorts and not the Independence everyone is saying it is. As I stated above the EU forces will be there for at least another 10 years.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 52):
There's just that tiny little problem of official Serbia still harbouring war criminals, refusing to bring them to justice and justifying atrocities during the civil war.

Did we see all the war criminals that committed atrocities against Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia in the Hague ??? Did we see sanctions on Croatia or Bosnia??? A Serbian car still gets burnt out in Dubrovnik in this day and age !!!
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