When Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Feb.17-2008 the TV news channel screens were filled with red hot flames because angry Serb rioters broke into the U.S. Embassy and set fire to Embassy offices. Later a larger group of Serb protesters marched to the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, where a huge outdoor prayer service was held.
At my work a colleague who was watching the breaking news on TV asked me if I knew the background of this story. His follow up question was about the religion of the Serbs who were setting fire to US flag and embassy in Belgrade. I was breathing a sigh of relief and thanked God almighty that Serbs were not Muslims, otherwise yet one more time Muslims and Islam would have been blamed for all the ills of the world.
The breakaway region was almost instantly recognized by the U.S. and several EU nations including the UK, France, Italy and Germany. Russia and China continue to oppose Kosovo's declaration of independence. However, Spain has expressed concern that recognition will give momentum to secessionist movements in other countries such as its own northern Basque region. Similarly India said it was studying the legal ramifications. India is wary of recognizing Kosovo as an independent state because of its potential implications for Kashmir, racked by a nearly two-decade freedom struggle against New Delhi’s occupation that has left more than 43,000 people dead.
Russia's ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said that Kosovo's independence bid was a result of an imperialistic American effort to "divide and rule," which would lead to Russia's boosting its military to ensure its own security.
"We are faced here with powerful hegemonism, imperialism on the part of the United States," Rogozin said on Russia's state-run Vesti-24 television. “Western nations that recognize Kosovo's statehood were replacing international law with a system in which "there will be only one rule: he who has brute physical power is strong and is right," he said.
Serbia's nationalist Prime Minister, Vojislav Kostunica, called on the U.S. to revoke its decision to recognize "the fake state of Kosovo" and allow the U.N. Security Council to "reaffirm" Kosovo as part of Serbian territory.
While Kosovo has declared independence, in her article, ” Washington gets a new colony in the Balkans” writer activist Sara Flounders assesses the situation this way:
“First, Kosovo is not gaining independence or even minimal self-government. It will be run by an appointed High Representative and bodies appointed by the U.S., European Union and NATO. An old-style colonial viceroy and imperialist administrators will have control over foreign and domestic policy. U.S. imperialism has merely consolidated its direct control of a totally dependent colony in the heart of the Balkans.”
In an article “The Oil factor in Kosovo independence” political scientist Abdus Sattar Ghazali describes Kosovo story in his ezine this way:
“With 4203 square miles area, Kosovo may be a tiny territory but in the great game of oil politics it holds great importance which is in inverse proportion to its size. Kosovo does not have oil but its location is strategic as the trans-Balkan pipeline - known as AMBO pipeline after its builder and operator the US-registered Albanian Macedonian Bulgarian Oil Corporation - will pass through it.”