The threat could make a tense situation in the western Balkans all the more dangerous.
April 20, 2017
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has threatened to annex Serbian territory if Albania’s EU ascension is impeded.
Currently, Kosovo is a Serbian province which is governed by renegade ethnic Albanians who were put into power after an illegal NATO war on the former Yugoslavia in 1999.
In 2008, some EU member states and the US recognised the conflict ridden province of Serbia as an independent state.
Many politicians in Albania and many more radicalised Albanians outside of the Albanian state have argued for a so-called ‘Greater Albania’ wherein the current borders of Albania would be expanded though the annexation of territory currently belonging to Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is facing mass protests form opposition activists who are calling for his resignation, to be followed by new elections. The protests are generally limited to domestic issues such as rampant corruption and the failure of Rama’s government to do anything about Albania’s monumental organised crime problem.
Rama however, has responded not with promises to resign, but instead with threats to annex the territory of another state.
Speaking to Politico, Rama said,
“…the only way to keep the Balkans in this peaceful and cooperative mode … is to keep the path to the EU open, to keep the perspective clear, to keep emotions about the EU positive. No one would like to turn [in] on themselves and look for smaller unions, everyone would like to unite in the big union. But if there’s no hope, no perspective, no space, then, of course, little unions may happen”.
The ‘little union’ between Albania and the Serbian province of Kosovo would of course mean annexation, something which could lead to war between Albania and Serbia as well as triggering wider regional conflicts where Albanians threaten the territorial integrity of several former Yugoslav republics as well as parts of north-west Greece.
Even the NATO drafted constitution of the current Kosovo regime, strictly forbids the province from becoming part of Albania.
Rama was also asked about the Tirana Platform, a document which calls for the effective bifurcation of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in order to create autonomous Albanian regions of the small state, something which given the history of the Balkans, could likely lead to the disintegration of the small state.
“There is a myth created in Skopje for political purposes that the Albanian parties are following a platform that is written in Tirana. This is a lie, a myth created by the politics of very bad taste…The attack on the platform is very dangerous because it’s a kind of politics that fuels divisiveness and not unity … The last thing Macedonia needs, the last thing we all need, is to fuel inter-ethnic conflict, because you can’t control these kinds of things”.
Rama concluded the interview by praising Tony Blair, one of the principle architects of NATO’s illegal 1999 war.
He said of Blair’s government,
“If Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell (Blair’s so-called ‘spin doctor) and New Labour did not exist, I would not have become a politician…They’ve been inspirational to me. Whatever Iraq was, it’s not at all a reason to forget what great things Tony Blair did, and how great he was as prime minister”.
Rama’s interview is deeply worrying. With Albanian-EU ascension talks slowed due to Albania’s rampant political corruption, he may just do what he threatened and annex Kosovo, something which could unleash a sequel to the kind of war Blair launched 18 years ago.