Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"US should support Serbia, not Kosovo Albanian radicals", says expert

Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security at the Sarah and Douglas Allison Center of the Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation.


March 19, 2007 -- US needs to stand on the side of democracy and stop supporting radical and quasi criminal elements with separatist tendencies in Kosovo, says Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow in Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Security at the Sarah and Douglas Allison Center of the Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

"We live in a global and a tight communications world with 24 hours of available information on the Internet. Implications of Kosovo's independence can be dangerous if not catastrophic across the world," says Cohen.

Ariel Cohen has often been critical of Russia's President Putin's policies but in case of Kosovo, says Cohen, Russia is on the side of international law and that warrants us to listen.

"It is interesting that Holbrooke blames Russia," for any violence Kosovo Albanians are threatening to initiate if their independence drive is thwarted but "while I do not support President Putin and frequently in my texts I have been critical of Russia, I must say that when Russia stands on the side of the international law and warns that support for separatism in Kosovo would have ramifications not only in Europe but across the world, I think we need to pay attention."

In a recent Washington Post opinion piece, former US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke claimed that the forthcoming Kosovo Albanian violence if the world community does not grant them independence should be blamed on Russia because the Muslim Kosovo Albanian leadership believes that Russia should be blamed for their inability to become independent.

In 2004, Holbrooke hosted a Kosovo Albanian fundraiser which raised over half a million dollars for John Kerry's Presidential campaign and Holbrooke promised there that, if elected, Kerry will pronounce Kosovo independent. That fundraiser was attended by a well-known Kosovo Albanian weapons smuggler.

"We have to be very careful as to the degree and locations of our support for independence movements that can destroy not only sovereign states but also democracy," replies Cohen.
"I think that US should be on the side of democracy and not radical and quasi criminal elements that have predetermined political objectives," advises Cohen.

Kosovo province has been administered by the UN since 1999 and since then Muslim Albanians have expelled over 200,000 Christian Serbs, destroyed over 150 Churches, instigated a widespread pogrom and are now threatening wholesale violence in the province if UN fails to give them independence.

There are over 16,000 NATO troops in the province whose mandate is to, ostensibly, keep peace.

UNs decision on the status of Kosovo province is expected this year.

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