2008: Moldova and separatists in the Transdniestr are once again discussing
creating "one common state." The Transdniestr separatists want a guarantee of "equal
rights" in this "common state." The separatists have been demanding the
creation of a separate country or extensive autonomy. A copy of the draft
treaty is circulating among diplomats and a few media organizations. The draft
treaty stresses that the international community has a greater interest in the
emergence of stable states with clearly defined borders, as opposed to amorphous
state formations in which centrifugal tendencies predominate, such as Serbia
and Montenegro. That is very interesting. It suggests that the diplomats
recognize that Moldova is a war waiting to happen, one that would involve
Russia, and they are trying to stop it. Transdniestr has many ethnic Russians.
2008: European Union EUFOR peacekeepers in Bosnia is engaged in an operation to
"root out" what is described as a Bosnian Serb "support network for fugitive
war crimes suspects." The EUFOR peacekeepers raided a house in Banja Luka.
Several major war crimes suspects remain on loose. Analysts have suggested that
some of the Balkan smuggling and crime syndicates have been involved in helping
hide war criminals. Why? Money.
2008: The Bulgarian government said that it wanted Turkey to join the European
Union. The Bulgarian statement specifically mentioned the Balkans and said that
Turkey would play a major role in keeping the Balkans stable. Bulgaria fears
Turkish political "isolation" and would rather see Turkey as politically part
of Europe than part of the Middle East.
2008: The UN criticized Serbia for planning to include Kosovar Serbs in Serbian
elections scheduled for May 11. Serbia is using the elections to try and create
the "de facto partition" of Kosovo. Ultimately Serbia wants to absorb parts of
Kosovo north of Mitrovica.
2008: . The United States officially opened
a US embassy in Pristina, Kosovo. Kosovar Albanians view this as a statement
that Kosovo is a full-fledged nation state.
2008: The March election of Demetris Christofias as president of Cyprus has
created new hopes for ending the island's divided status. Christofias is a
Greek and a Communist and wants to end what he called "hardline policies" by
Greek Cypriots towards Turkish Cypriots. In the wake of his election Greek and
Turkish Cypriots are ripped down a barricade near a border crossing point in
Nicosia's business district. Both Greek and Turk businessmen in the area
supported the action (more customers). Later on Turkish soldiers closed the
crossing point, then re-opened – a statement that the bigger political issues
admitted Albania and Croatia as members. Macedonia, however, was not admitted.
The reason? The continuing "name war" between Macedonia and Greece.