The idea of the reintegration of Kosovo into Serbia’s constitutional order, published by a group of politicians and intellectuals, has one important positive side. Namely, the biggest problem with political ideas of this type is to get broad support from citizens, because they are abstract, not tangible, and it takes a lot of time and effort to explain to people what they mean and how things will look like in the end, when the proposals are implemented.
In this case, the authors of the concept of the reintegration of Kosovo into Serbia do not have this problem, and thus their initiative skips an important and risky step towards its realization. What the realization of their plan would look like, our citizens can watch live in the case of Ukraine and Russia’s efforts to “reintegrate” some of its areas.
Just like the authors of the concept of the reintegration of Kosovo, Putin’s Russia also believed that Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, and now two more Ukrainian regions, are actually part of “historical Russia” and that they should be returned to the homeland. For this purpose, Russia was even ready to start an aggressive war, for which it found reason and justification precisely in its right to Ukrainian territories. It goes without saying, it also includes population, religious sites and natural resources, as Vuk Jeremić, Boško Obradović, Milan Jovanović, Matija Bećković and other co-signatories wrote in their Kosovo proclamation.
Serbian re-integrators, unlike their Russian counterparts, did not anticipate military force as a way to realize their plan. Perhaps they overlooked this “detail”, but did not include it in the signed text. This small difference between Russian and Serbian concepts of reintegration, however, is not important – both plans are actually warlike.
In the idea of the reintegration of Kosovo into Serbia, however, it is stated that talks will be held with the Albanians, which is an important “peacekeeping” detail, so that the plan is not immediately rejected as a war plan. But what would those conversations between Serbs and Albanians be about? Only about the way in which reintegration would be carried out, not about its essence, because there is no discussion about it. We can reasonably assume that none of the Kosovo Albanians want to talk to Serbia about reintegration, and especially not about the ways in which it should be carried out. And what remains? Just the intervention of the Serbian army.
If we assume that the authors of the concept also anticipated that option, and they probably did, although they did not include it in their text, let’s take a look at who the Serbian Army would fight against in Kosovo, in order to implement the previously adopted decision on reintegration. It would certainly wage war against the Kosovo Albanians, because we can reasonably assume that none of them wants to return to the constitutional framework of Serbia and that they are ready to defend it with weapons. How many of them would really join the armed resistance, Serbia cannot know before it starts the military reintegration of Kosovo. Just as Putin did not know whether and how fiercely the Ukrainians would oppose his invasion until he set foot in Ukraine and was surprised that his troops were not given bread and salt.
But what Serbia can know for sure today is that in Kosovo it would not only engage with the Albanians, but also with NATO. Unlike Russia, which, upon entering Ukraine, was convinced that it would fight only against Ukrainians, Serbia knows very well that NATO is waiting in Kosovo, in full capacity, because Serbia itself accepted its presence and signed the documents that gave NATO the right to supervise Kosovo’s security, on behalf of the UN.
Therefore, it is quite certain, what the “way” in which the reintegration of Kosovo into Serbia would look like, and there is no reason to talk about it with the Albanians, even if they came to the talks. And here we come to the most important question for the authors of the new plan. What is Serbia’s interest in trying to realize its rights and state interest regarding Kosovo through war (which is the only option according to them)?
There is no interest of Serbia; there is only new human and national suffering, this time probably final, after which there would certainly not be any Serbs in Kosovo, and most certainly not an independent state of Serbia, perhaps not even Serbs as a national entity. But is there anyone else’s interest in starting this kind of plan for the reintegration of Kosovo?
We will not go so far as to say that this plan was written in Moscow, there is quite enough intellectual strength in Serbia to write another self-destructive national project. But when it comes to interests, Russia can be very happy about the appearance of such a document, far from its frontline in Ukraine, which is moving more and more back towards the Russian borders day by day.
The plan for the reintegration of Kosovo, due to its similarities with Putin’s attempts to (forcibly) reintegrate the eastern Ukrainian regions, is a gift to the Russian war efforts, and above all to raising the declining enthusiasm of the Russian population. The initiative from Serbia is more than welcome in the Kremlin, because it gives it an alibi for everything it does in Ukraine and a chance to present to its public that the way Russia reintegrates is getting an echo in other parts of the world. When such a plan comes from Serbia at the same moment when Putin and the Duma sign decisions on the annexation of Ukrainian areas in a flash, then the effect is even stronger.
And finally, whose international support the signatories of the reintegration plan are counting on, I guess they thought about that too, because the issue of Kosovo has long been deeply internationalized. There is no international support for such a plan, except from Moscow, and it would certainly provide it because a new war in the Balkans would be worth gold, in the days when Russia is suffering heavy defeats on the front that is the only one important for Russia.
Therefore, we have a plan that leads Serbia directly into a war lost in advance, a state and national disaster, and all at the expense of another, foreign country that is currently waging an aggressive war of conquest, isolated from the whole world. Is this really a policy that will be led by 44 MPs in the Serbian Parliament, presenting themselves as patriots? Judging by such initiatives – it is! I will remind all of them of the words of the great ancient Greek historian, the Father of History, Herodotus, who said: “In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons.” Therefore, do not push Serbia into a war in which it will disappear!