Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Montenegro Lawmaker Warns Plans Afoot to Revive ‘Greater Albania’

May 13, 2015, MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Nebojsa Medojevic told Sputnik that in its 2013 military doctrine, the government ruled out any threat to the Balkan nation's territorial integrity from militants vying to create a Greater Albania in Albanian-populated lands, which include vast territories within Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia.

These comments came after a group of 14 Albanian gunmen from the Kosovo Liberation Army crossed into Macedonia and attacked the town of Kumanovo, located near the border. All militants and eight security officers were killed, in what some Macedonian officials have linked to the goal of unifying former Albanian-inhabited lands.

All attempts to raise awareness of this doctrine are waved off as fear-mongering and xenophobia by more mainstream politicians, Medojevic said adding that the latest attack proved that plans were afoot to challenge the country's integrity.

The lawmaker said he did not think ethnic Albanians and Kosovars living in the Balkans represented a major threat in and of themselves.

Miodrag Vukovic, chairman of the Montenegrin parliament's Committee on International Relations, admitted that Saturday's shooting in Macedonia was enough to put national security forces on alert, but added that the country currently "does not face any kind of threat."

Last month, around forty Kosovar Albanians invaded a police station in the Macedonian village of Gosince, also close to the border with Kosovo, and demanded the creation of an Albanian state within Macedonia. Albanians make up about a quarter of the country's 2-million population. In Montenegro, they amount to slightly less than 5 percent of the population.