PRISHTINA, KOSOVA -- Kosova will declare Independence by the end of this year regardless of who supports it or not.
In light of the latest developments at the UN, tensions in Kosovo are rising as international negotiations over its status have headed into a dead end. Many Kosovars are demanding the Unity Team set a date when Kosova will declare independence by itself and not rely on the continued failures of the UN. Russia has rejected all previous versions drawn up by the United States and its European allies in the past few weeks and has threatened to block any resolution unacceptable to Serbia.
As a result, the people of Kosova have grown frustrated and are now demanding an immediate declaration of independence by their elected leaders. These demands have been coupled with speculative fears that Kosova's citizens will take independence by force if they are not allowed to rule themselves, something that has spread panic throughout the Balkans and the West, where a repeat of the Balkan wars can start once again.
The same frustration has also taken its toll from the elites. Prime Minister Agim Ceku suggested Friday that “Kosova should unilaterally declare independence from Serbia on November 28th”, arguing that Western efforts to put the province on the path to statehood through the UN have failed.
Veton Surroi, head of the opposition ORA party and one of the politicians negotiating Kosova’s status, suggests that “Kosova’s Assembly fulfill its obligation before Kosova’s citizens by declaring independence by Christmas”.
In the same vein, US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said, "We are committed to an independent Kosova," … "We will get there one way or another."
Envoys of the Contact Group on Kosova -- the United States, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Russia -- will meet next week to discuss launching another 120 days of shuttle diplomacy between Belgrade and Prishtina. However, this may be too late because the Kosova Unity Team has refused to meet with Belgrade saying that there are no other concessions to be made as independence is non-negotiable.
The Contact Group, where Russia has no veto, is believed to swiftly recommend independence for Kosova. Additionally, many experts believe that Kosova’s unilateral declaration of independence will be met with recognition from several states (including the U.S., Britain, and several EU and Mideastern states) and after that, the issue would go back to the United Nations with many more arguments, and Kosova would be officially recognized by the Security Council.