CEAS announcement: Haradinaj exposed the lie of the alleged intention to divide Kosovo by ethnic lines

The recent statement of Kosovo's outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj about his preventing the “theft“ of 10 billion euros (from Kosovo's perspective) by stalling the plan of alleged “partition“ of Kosovo, negotiated by Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic and president of provisional institutions of Kosovo and Metohija, Hashim Thaci, referring, inter alia, to governing the resources of the Trepca mine, completely denuded the lies of partition by ethnic principle systematically disseminated by Haradinaj, some governments of EU Member States, many commentators, certain political actors in the USA, project-funded media and civil society organizations. In this perfidious way, they protected some vested political and financial interests, not the interests of Serbia's citizens.

This statement is in favour of the fact that the Serbian leadership followed the logic of trying to get as high a percentage of revenues generated from exploitation and management of resources mainly located in the four small municipalities in North Kosovo and Metohija (KiM), which would flow in the budget of the Republic of Serbia, which is not currently the case.

CEAS has pointed out for quite a while now that any compromise solution leading to formalization of relations between Belgrade and Prishtina, which would have a political, economic and security component, must observe the interests of as many citizens as possible, regardless of their ethnic or religious background or residential area. The funds going to the budget and keeping the European agenda on track, in ever more aggravated circumstances, are the most egalitarian way that is least discriminatory or dividing on ethnic, religious or territorial grounds as falsely insinuated. It provides the most democratic form of compromise resolution of relations between Belgrade and Prishtina to be considered a special case, not placing stakeholder(s) in privileged position vis-a-vis others and which respects individual democratic rights of Serbia's citizens, with manifold national and ethnic communities of origin, who cannot cast a ballot at Kosovar elections.

On the same occasion, Haradinaj admitted to have been forced to resign by “international, but also domestic factors“. The glorification of Haradinaj's act of alleged resignation as highly ethical, following the summons of the Specialized Chambers for prosecuting the criminal Kosovo Liberation Army, promoted by the same actors that are now warning against the threat of the non-existent partition on ethnic principle, is now “out of the bush“ with this statement. This inappropriate glorification of Haradinaj, the man during whose trial at the Hague several witnesses got killed, is just part of a broader process where Kosovo, twenty years after the conflict ended, is systematically looked through rosy spectacles, with everything condoned for the policies pursued by different governments in Belgrade, while at the same time the rest of Serbia, which has undergone a serious reformation, is still kept hostage by the above-mentioned circles, systematically overlooking all the difficult steps towards stronger integration with the Euro-Atlantic structures, in almost impossible circumstances. A massive absence of support to court proceedings for war crimes perpetrated against Serbs and other non-Albanians in Kosovo, as well as the obstruction of establishing internationally-supported mechanisms to get it done, have not met with adequate criticism of the mentioned circles, which is also a manifest proof of double standards or articulation of vested interests, not support to transitional justice. Just as it was Serbia's best interest to come up with the expectations from facing the bad past, so it is in the interest of all in Kosovo and Metohija now.

The aggressive exploitation of privileges of a victim on the one hand and justifiable frustration it causes on the other, make an inadequate environment for reaching a compromise, and not an open competition in the international arena for recognition and de-recognition.

In the era of combating false news, with the relevant foreign actors pursuing their own interests by continuing to publish analyses that predict some key circumstances that give credit to the Republic of Serbia's authorities to take KiM's independence for granted, present falsities, spread panic with accounts of the inexistent “peaceful ethnic cleansing“, or “creation of mono-ethnic states”, this is something that the local actors in Serbia should not do, especially not those purportedly committed to Serbia's Europeanization and democratization.

Kosovo's outgoing Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj stated that he had prevented a theft of 10 billion euros, a plan that, according to him, was going to be executed by partition of Kosovo. Haradinaj stated also that the secret reason for the political crisis in Kosovo was the future of the Trepca mine in Mitrovica. These statements by Haradinaj should open their eyes, now that many other stark examples have not.

They will be held accountable if, with their opportunistic silence or open obstruction to a compromise, multidimensional agreement between Belgrade and Prishtina, they jeopardize the possibility for the Republic of Serbia to dovetail significant financial revenues and additional investments through the negotiations, and to facilitate the life of Serbian citizens living in areas around the administrative boundary and in the rest of Kosovo and Metohija, so that they can exercise their rights with lowered administrative, political and other barriers and substantive partitions by ethnic and religious lines that exist now.

In Belgrade, 18/10/2019