Balkans: Oil War


February8, 2007: The UN believes it cannot delay a final decision on Kosovo's status. The UN proposes that that Kosovo govern itself and be allowed to make "international agreements." If that sounds like sovereignty (ie, full Kosovo independence), many Serbs agree, which is why they reject the plan.

The US reaffirmed that it would support Macedonia's request to join NATO.

February 5, 2007: Ethnic Kosovar Serb leaders have "rejected" the UN "Kosovo independence" proposal. One of the key Kosovar Serb groups is The Association of Serbian Municipalities and Communities in Kosovo-Metohija. (Kosovo-Metohija is a name some Kosovar Serbs use for Kosovo.) The Association officially rejected the plan on February 2. The Serb community says that it opposes the "creation of another Albanian state." Interestingly enough, a group of Kosovar Albanian nationalists also rejected the UN proposal because, in its view, the proposal does not guarantee full independence.

February 3, 2007: The governments of Albania and Macedonia both said that they supported the UN proposal which would give "provisional independence" to Kosovo from Serbia. Albania, obviously, has an Albanian ethnic majority. Macedonia has a large Albanian ethnic minority and fought its own war against ethnic Macedonian Albanian separatists in early 2001.

February 2, 2007: Tensions seem to be rising once again on Cyprus. The Turks believe that a "military confrontation" needs to be avoided as Greeks and Turks explore the Aegean Sea for oil and gas deposits. A war almost erupted between Greece and Turkey in 1987. The issue then was exploration rights for oil and gas. Turkey has told companies looking for oil off the Cyprus coast that the Turkish Cypriots are due a share of oil and gas royalties. The government of Cyprus (which in a practical sense is the government of Greek Cyprus) objected to "Turkish interference." The exchange between Turkish and Greek Cypriots followed allegations on February 1 that Turkey had sent "warships" into Cypriot waters. Turkey responded by saying that the Turkish Navy operates in the area all of the time and that no new ships were in the region.

February 1, 2007: Albanian Kosovar separatists want their own state; how far can the "fragmentation" go? Oliver Ivanovic, regarded as a moderate among Kosovar Serbs, was quoted in a Bosnian publication as saying that "sooner or later" the Kosovo War will reignite. Ivanovic said that Kosovar Serbs would "seek independence from independence." That indicates even the moderates would want a "Kosovar Serb statelet."


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