POLITICAL POKER - Putin plays Kosovo card on Obama over Crimea....
by Sasha Uzunov
You gotta hand it to Russian Federation President Vladimir "Fred" Putin in outsmarting US President Barack Obama over the annexation of Crimea from its hitherto "owner" the Ukraine by evoking NATO's bombing of Serbia over Kosovo....
He told the Russian Parliament: see link:
In the speech he challenged Washington’s position, which says that Kosovo was a unique case and could not justify any other move towards independence in the world.
“Our western partners created the Kosovo precedent with their own hands. In a situation absolutely the same as the one in Crimea they recognized Kosovo’s secession from Serbia legitimate while arguing that no permission from a country’s central authority for a unilateral declaration of independence is necessary,” Putin reminded, adding that the UN International Court of Justice agreed to those arguments.
“That’s what they wrote, that what they trumpeted all over the world, coerced everyone into it – and now they are complaining. Why is that?” he asked.Now over Kosovo in 1999, Russia under President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Evgeni Primakov sold out Serbia...Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic arrogantly thought he had Russian backing...or thought he could play off NATO against Moscow... It was a diplomatic trick or shtik borrowed from Yugoslav strongman Marshal Tito's Coldwar playbook. But it didn't work...
Primakov who was then Russian PM went on defending Milosevic in public but Russia cut a deal with Washington. To save face, if you remember the Russians "were allowed" to occupy Pristina airport....first... There was this pretend "standoff" between NATO and Russia in Kosovo which CNN with all the hoopla reported. It was all play-acting par excellence. Superpower politics. Both the US and Russia look after their own interests...
Who is Yeltsin's protege? Putin...!
A blast from the past - see link
RUSSIA "ABANDONS" SERBIA OVER KOSOVO - 1999
"Late in the war, Serbia's diplomatic isolation mounted as Russia began to cooperate with the NATO allies and abandon its blustery support for its fellow Slavs. The change was dramatic. At the beginning of the war, Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov had turned his Washington-bound plane around in mid-flight to signal his country's displeasure. Weeks of anti-NATO popular protest and official posturing ensued in Russia.
"However on April 14, 1999, Russian President Boris Yeltsin appointed Viktor Chernomyrdin as his chief Balkans envoy, signaling Russia's desire to chart a new Kosovo policy and to salvage its essential relationship with the West. After a series of marathon negotiations with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, Chernomyrdin and Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari successfully presented NATO's demands to Milosevic in Belgrade on June 3."
Is Putin wrong? Crimea is similar to Kosovo...? Putin addresses the Russian Parliament. See link.
Ah let's see: Russians in the Crimea are the majorty. By 1991 Kosovar Albanians were 90% of the population and the Serbs were under 10% in Kosovo.
In 1991 Milosevic sent in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) tanks into Slovenia, which had seceded, triggering the war in the then Yugoslavia and as a "consequence" of "his own" actions ended up losing Kosovo....But hey let's blame someone else for your behaviour.
Belgrade remains sore at NATO for it support of Kosovo and the bombing of Serbia. The actions were wrong on NATO's part but if you take NATO out of the equation, the Kosovar Albanians would have still broken away from Serbia anyway, it would have taken longer and the conflict would have been more brutal.
Over the last decade we've heard this constant conspiracy theory from smoke filled Belgrade cafe's blaming the West, the Vatican, radical Islam and whoever takes your fancy for Serbia's problems.
It is ironic now that Serbia is taking alleged "wahhabist" cash from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a billion euro loan. But hey why let some conspiracy theory get in the way of someone picking up the bill for your lavish modern lifestyle....
Crimea is being used as an "alibi" by Belgrade for "losing" Kosovo, that is making lifestyle choices as in having one child and leaving Kosovo for the Belgrade nightlife whilst Kosovar Albanians were having 4 or 5 kids and working the land in the villages.
But hey, don't let demographic reality get in the way... just blame someone else...for your mistakes... and your lifestyle choices.
You have to ask yourself why did NATO, in particular the US, bomb Belgrade in 1999? Why did the Serb leadership give in? Maybe it has to do with the "Belgrade cafe society lifestyle" and no Russian safety net?
Napoleon once said that you must strike the enemy at his most weakest point...