border conflict in Kosovo could derail the implementation amid fears of "strategic disaster" if Croatia is admitted without Serbia
barbed wire and burned vehicles, trucks loaded with logs extended across the width of the road, throwing rocks and panicked crowds international peacekeeping crouched behind their riot shields. The checkpoint in the Balkans, with the family tired of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, is back.
In an attempt to maintain a small band of Kosovo from Serbia, the Serbs have cut roads, blocked and erected checkpoints in twenty sites across the northern border of Kosovo from Serbia since the summer.
scores last week, keeping forces of Germany and Austria and Serb protesters were injured in clashes as the confrontation escalated into a crisis whose impact is reflected in- Beyond this poor and dusty corner of southern Europe.
The contest is over, who should control the border between Serbia and Kosovo, and if it is a border at all. Serbia regards Kosovo as its own, refusing to recognize the Albanian-majority country that declared its independence three years ago. For Kosovo, meanwhile, with the police and customs officers at the border with Serbia is a fundamental attribute of the state.
is a local conflict, but the impact is resonating far beyond Belgrade and Pristina and could in central policy goal Monday scupper Serbia:. Your chances of being placed on the road to accession to the European Union
"We want to see a very strong [Serbia] commitment to dialogue with Kosovo," said William Hague, the foreign minister, as Britain joined Germany, the Austria and the Netherlands, by threatening to oppose the decision.
transcendental is a week for the Balkans. While Belgrade is to see whether it is candidate for accession to the EU and Montenegro, as a candidate, must be said that if you can open the negotiations, during the week Croatia will sign the Treaty of join the union. It will take another 18 months of referendums and ratifications before Croatia joins. The fear felt deeply by the Balkans is that the European Union, then closes unless a breakthrough is made this week.
They fear that if he abandons the Western Balkans, others come in a region whose geography has become a prey of great powers for centuries.
with Slovenia and Croatia - the bit further west, the Roman Catholics of the former Yugoslavia - joined the EU and NATO, which remains in limbo - Serbia Montenegro, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania - is divided between the Slavs and Orthodox Christians indigenous European Muslims. The situation calls for a contest for influence between Russia, Vladimir Putin, parading as a guardian of orthodoxy and Turkey, the Muslim power in Europe with a more assertive foreign policy. There are three outstanding issues in the former Yugoslavia - Macedonia name controversy with Greece, the total failure of Bosnian elites go beyond ethnic groups and agree on a common modus operandi (Bosnia has been without a government center for over a year), and Serbia and the Kosovo conflict. It was in Kosovo, which is the key to a breakthrough this week.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Serbia was not ripe for the status of EU candidate. In summer, he traveled to Belgrade and to read the riot act to President Boris Tadic, considered the best hope of the West in Belgrade. Hardline Britain and Austria supported by Germany.
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