Balkans: Arming the French Resistance


January28, 2007: NATO and the EU (European Union) have a new plan for resolving Kosovo's "final status." This would be "provisional independence" for Kosovo. What that means precisely is not clear but it does contain a key word demanded by Kosovar Albanians: independence. Russia continues to insist it backs Serbian demands that Kosovo remain part of Serbia. Kosovo's prime minister, Agim Ceku, believes that Kosovo will ultimately be independent.

January 26, 2007: Two bombs were detonated in Greece. Both of the bombs were small, "harassment-type" bombs. One was detonated in Athens outside of a bank building. The other bomb occurred in Thessalonica and destroyed a diplomat's car. Greece fears a resurgence of left-wing terror attacks.

January 23, 2007: Serbia's "pro-West" Democratic Party (DS) asked that the EU and UN delay announcing any final decision on Kosovo's final status. The Democratic Party and other reform parties are trying to form a new coalition government in Serbia following the elections on January 21. The G17 Plus Party said that it favored a coalition with the DS and Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS). A G17-DS-DSS coalition would have between 130 and 135 seats in the 250-member parliament - a bare majority. The Serb reformists argue that a rapid decision on Kosovo - particularly one that recommends Kosovar independence-will shake Serbian politics and energize radical nationalists. The reform parties favor integration into Europe and joining the EU.

January 22, 2007: The "nationalist" Serbian Radical Party (SRS) took the most party-line votes in the Serbian national elections on January 21, but it will not have enough seats to establish a parliamentary majority. The SRS will likely have 81 seats in the 250-member parliament. A collection of "pro-Western" democratic reform parties took at least 60 percent of the vote and will have a chance to form a coalition government. The Democratic Party (DS) will have 65 seats. The Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) will probably have 47 seats. The G17 Plus Party will have 19 seats.

January 19, 2007: French police in southern France intercepted and confiscated a shipment of small arms. In a related operation, the police also confiscated ammunition, detonators, and other small arms. The police report said that 54 Kalashnikovs were found during the raids, as well as 30 other rifles. The weapons and ammunition were being shipped through France by a "Balkans" smuggling ring, possibly originating in Serbia. However, the suspected leader of the smuggling ring is a Croat. French police said Serbian police had provided information that led to the arms bust.

January 18, 2007: Security officers in Transdniestr (the separatist region in Moldova) arrested two Moldovan police officers. The Moldovan policemen were released within a day. The Moldovan police were trying to arrest a drug trafficker. One report said the drug trafficker was "linked" to the Transdniestrian security services. This is more than just a misunderstanding. Moldova does not recognize Transdniestr's separatist claims. This was a small-scale battle over authority in Transdniestr.




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