Ex Slovenia Leader Slams Europe Over Kosovo

The former Slovenian leader who led the country to independence in 1991 says the international community was wrong in recognising Kosovo’s secession.

“The international community abolished an existing principle and deepened the crisis,” Milan Kucan told a Regional Managers’ Conference in Slovenia’s coastal resort of Portoroz.

He said that in the case of Kosovo, the non-unilateral change of state’s borders principle was ignored.

I wonder who Kosovo got the idea from?!

Kucan added that Europe had a chance to solve the Balkan crisis but failed to do so, adding leaders must now answer whether the rules applied in southeast Europe are valid across the continent.

“Can Europe accept a doctrine which says that one nation, after all inter-ethnic conflicts, cannot live together with another nation because they belong to a different group, religion, culture and civilisation which blocks coexistence, making it necessary for them to be separated by a state?” the man known as the “Father of Slovenia” asked.

He was the Slovenian Communist leader back in 1991 when the then Yugoslav republic decided to go independent after failing to convince Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic to accept the switch from a centralised federation to Yugoslav confederation.

Slovenia went through a brief armed conflict with the then Yugoslav army before going its separate way.

Croatia swiftly followed suit and their moves towards independence triggered a legal dispute on whether Yugoslavia’s constitution allowed for the secession of nations or republics.

Kucan did not elaborate on the past but insisted the recognition of Kosovo’s independence sharpened instability in the Balkans rather than solve it, warning of severe consequences from the redrawing of maps in this volatile region.

Kosovo was a Serbian province and, unlike six former Yugoslav republics, a part of Serbia’s territory within the former Yugoslav federation.

It effectively remained a Serbian province in the eyes of international law until the declaration of independence by ethnic Albanian leaders on February 17, a move which has been recognised by the United States and key European Union members, including Slovenia, which currently holds the rotating EU Presidency and was the first former Yugoslav state to do so.

Meanwhile, here’s what can result from hasty, illegal redrawing of borders, secession and independence, from a Slovenian reader’s email in December:

Dear Madame or Sir

Republic of Croatia constantly perform aggression on sovereign territory of Republic of Slovenia. Recently the Croatian side pulled out 87 years old border markers (border stones) on the part of the border between Croatia and Slovenia and mark some of the Slovenian land as their own, as they previously does with half of the Piran bay on Istria peninsula. We can not tolerate such Balkan aggression indefinitely and behave peacefully.

You should [see] evidence on this news flash: http://24ur.com/bin/article.php?article_id=3111125&show_media=60072333 (please disregard first 10 second[s] of advertising flash)

Please warn Croatian politicians thru proper channels or write about it.
Thank you for your help.

Sincerely by the concerned Slovenian citizen.
Ljubljana, Slovenia

“Such Balkan aggression”?? I thought that was just Serbs. What could possibly be going wrong among all these “victims”?

An item from last week seems to touch on the letter-writer’s concerns:

EU Satisfied with Croatia, Rupel Points to False Croatian Claims

Luxembourg, 28 April (STA) - [Slovenian] Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel pointed out in Luxembourg on Monday that Croatia had falsely stated in its EU talks positions that it agreed with Slovenia to hand the resolution of the border issue to the Hague International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“We continue to search for the aid of a third party, the location is meanwhile still not known,” stressed Rupel, who chaired the EU Stabilisation and Accession Council meeting with Croatia.

Rupel explained that Croatia’s claim that last-year’s Bled meeting between the prime ministers of the countries yielded an agreement on the ICJ was false as the meeting only mentioned the ICJ as an option. He said that the Croatian minister admitted that Slovenia was right.

EU representatives meanwhile said today that Croatia was making good progress on its path toward the EU, however solving open issues with neighbours, especially border issues, remains a key aspect.

What’s interesting about Slovenia’s current concerns and objections vis-a-vis Kosovo secession is that one of the motivators for Slovenia’s precedent-setting illegal secession (in addition to wanting racial purity — just like “Kosova”) was that it was the most affluent of the six Yugoslav republics and didn’t want to keep subsidizing Yugoslavia’s poorer regions — citing in particular the poor, aid-draining, Albanian-rich Kosovo.

From Andy Wilcoxson’s forthcoming book on the Milosevic trial:

From 1918 until 1991 Slovenia was a republic in the country of Yugoslavia. It was part of Yugoslavia in much the same way as California is part of the United Sates.

The Western narrative asserts that Slobodan Milosevic started the war in Slovenia. The New York Times summed up the typical Western line when it wrote that “[Slobodan] Milosevic started four wars, Slovenia was the site of the first.”

The assertion that Milosevic started the war in Slovenia, although common in the West, is simply wrong.

Warren Zimmermann was the American ambassador to Yugoslavia when Slovenia seceded in 1991. In an article published by the magazine Foreign Affairs, Zimmermann wrote: “Contrary to the general view, it was the Slovenes who started the war. Their independence declaration, which had not been preceded by even the most token effort to negotiate, effectively put under their control all the border and customs posts between Slovenia and its two neighbors, Italy and Austria. This meant that Slovenia, the only international gateway between the West and Yugoslavia, had unilaterally appropriated the right to goods destined for other republics, as well as customs revenues estimated at some 75 percent of the Yugoslav federal budget.”

Slovenia’s independence declaration was illegal. It was annulled and ruled to be “unconstitutional in its entirety” by the Constitutional Court of Yugoslavia.

Slovenia’s unilateral secession violated Article 5 of the Yugoslav constitution….Slovenia made the decision to secede unilaterally, and as such, it altered Yugoslavia’s borders without the consent of the rest of the country.

On June 25, 1991, the day Slovenia declared independence from Yugoslavia, its prime minister, Lojze Peterle, announced that Slovenia would take over Yugoslav border crossings from Italy, Austria and Hungary and that signs bearing the name Yugoslavia would be taken down and replaced by signs welcoming travelers to Slovenia.

The very next day, Slovenia seized control of federal Yugoslav border posts, and set up eight new border checkpoints on the Croatian border.

In response to Slovenia’s seizure of its border posts, the Yugoslav government ordered the army to retake control of the state border in Slovenia.

THE ORIGINS OF SLOVENIA’S SEPARITIST MOVEMENT

By the beginning of 1985 Yugoslavia was in serious economic trouble. It had to repay 3.45 billion dollars to the IMF, but it only had $700 million…Slovenia was the most economically developed region in Yugoslavia, and as such it was required to subsidize economic development programs in poorer regions of the country.

By the mid-1980s unemployment was approaching 50% in some parts of Yugoslavia. The Slovenes realized that if they left Yugoslavia, they would no longer have to subsidize impoverished regions like Macedonia and Kosovo.

According to a public opinion poll taken in Slovenia in 1988, 57.8% of Slovenes believed that new economic opportunities could only be created if Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia.

SLOVENE NATIONALISM

In addition to economic motives, ethnic nationalism is another factor that played into Slovenia’s decision to secede from Yugoslavia.

Shortly after Slovenia seceded from Yugoslavia it implemented a decision to revoke the citizenship of certain ethnic minorities. Non-Slovenes, even if they had been living in Slovenia for years, lost their citizenship and all rights associated with it.

On February 26, 1992, Slovenia simply erased the citizenship of certain ethnic minorities. Slovene public opinion has been overwhelmingly supportive of this mass-revocation of minority citizenship. In a 2004 opinion poll, commissioned by the Slovene broadcaster Pop TV, only 3% of Slovenes supported restoring citizenship to ethnic minorities; 82% opposed restoring citizenship, and 15 per cent abstained.

Slovenia’s policy towards ethnic minorities has been far from equal. Serbs, Croats, Muslims, Albanians, and Gypsies were stripped of their citizenship. Meanwhile, other ethnic minorities, no doubt considered “more desirable” by the Slovenes, such as Italians and Hungarians were allowed to retain their citizenship.

The Slovenes call the people whose citizenship they’ve revoked “izbrisani”, which literally means “the erased”.

Any nation that strips people of their citizenship based on ethnicity can fairly be called nationalistic. In this regard the Slovenes are surely nationalists. The Slovenes seceded from Yugoslavia because of their own ethnic nationalism, not because they were afraid of Milosevic or Serbian nationalism.

Slovenia was not the victim of an aggression. Slovenia provoked the war itself with its flagrant disregard for the Yugoslav constitution and its forcible seizure of Yugoslav border crossings.

In spite of its racist treatment of ethnic minorities, Slovenia has been rewarded with a good international reputation as well as membership in NATO and the European Union.

Still, one appreciates the newfound fairness with which Slovenia observes what’s happening to Serbia, now that Slovenia got what it wanted and isn’t vulnerable in the fate of what’s left of Yugoslavia. Slovenia’s outspokenness stands in stark contrast to the salivating silence of Croatia and Bosnia, which are only too happy to sit by while Serbia’s carcass is devoured from the south by Albanians, since Bosnia and Croatia still have some work to do on the Serbian carcass from the north. As a reader wrote me last week:

It is apparent to me Croatia will dismember Serbia from the North and Albania and Kosovo will merge officially and annex Southern Serbia, meeting the Croats halfway up the corpse. Russia will do nothing because they prefer the Albanians and Mideast Oil and Iran axis to Serbs…The Mideast Muslim-controlled caliphate then will seize the remains of Macedonia and spread to Bulgaria to meet Jihadist Turkey at the Dardanelles. Forced cleansing to be included. Coming soon to our world.

Here is just one more recent item concerning Slovenia’s Kosovo concern, though the worry for Serbian well-being that the Slovenian foreign minister expresses here seems to contradict his support for an undivided Kosovo in which Serbs live under Albanian rule.

Kosovo partition to cause ethnic cleansing

Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Dmitrij Rupel told the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that partition of Kosovo will lead to ethnic cleansing of Serbs that are dispursed across municipalities.

“Serbs don’t only live in Mitrovica but also elsewhere, and we by all means want to avoid new ethnic cleansing,” Rupel said.

Rupel said that UN should do utmost to prevent ethnic cleansing and to achieve that partition should be avoided.

Rupel said that 60% of Serbs in Kosovo are scattered throughout with little freedom of movement and are under constant guard of NATO troops in order to stop Kosovo Albanians from slaughtering them.

A partition of northern part of Kosovo would expose these Serbs to Kosovo Albanian violence noted Rupel.
Ban and Rupel are both waiting election results in Serbia [on May 11] in order to plot further course.