Skip to comments.Montenegro vote opens separatist Pandora's box
Posted on 05/23/2006 11:25:00 AM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
Montenegro's independence could open a Pandora's box for other separatist movements in Europe and the former Soviet Union, with some already claiming the right to follow the same path.
Separatists in Spain's Basque and Catalan regions were among the first to welcome Montenegro's independence vote as a positive omen for their aspirations of loosening ties with Madrid.
But Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos stressed the situations in his country and Montenegro were "politically, diplomatically, juridically" incomparable and that making such a comparison would represent a "great irresponsibility".
His view was supported by European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who said any such comparisons would be "delirious".
A total of 55,5% of Montenegrin voters who took part in Sunday's referendum opted for independence from the tiny Balkan state's federation with Serbia.
Podgorica's union with Belgrade was the last vestige of the former Yugoslav federation, consisting of six republics that broke apart in a series of wars in the 1990s.
However, after Montenegro the EU has to immediately tackle the issue of the United Nations-administered Serbian province of Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians are the majority. Kosovo Albanians hope to gain independence this year, a demand Belgrade fiercely opposes.
Tim Judah, a Balkans specialist at the Centre for European Reform based in London, said regional stability depended far more on Kosovo -- "the final act in this 15-year drama" -- than on Montenegro.
"Compared to Kosovo, Montenegro is easy," he said, stressing that "Kosovo is a much, much bigger problem".
"Although some refuse to establish a link, possible independence of Kosovo, which would be internationally recognised, would legitimise the ambitions of other separatists who never had their own state," a Western diplomat based in the Croatian capital Zagreb told Agence France-Presse, wishing to remain anonymous.
Bosnian Serbs have already said Montenegro's independence was a good model to be followed by their entity of Republika Srpska, which, along with the Muslim-Croat Federation, has made up post-war Bosnia.
For those fighting for the independence of the Germanic Tyrol region of Italy, and its annexation to Austria, the outcome of Montenegro's referendum inspired dreams to organise a similar vote.
A senior Russian lawmaker estimated that Montenegro's decision to separate from Serbia would spur debate on the status of Kosovo and could set a "heavy" precedent for other countries with separatist minorities.
Konstantin Kosachev, chairperson of the Russian Parliament's foreign-affairs committee, warned of setting a precedent over Kosovo.
"This will create a precedent heavy with consequences for other regions," he said, citing in particular Turkish northern Cyprus and Spain's Basque separatists.
But even in the former Soviet Union, several regions are hoping to follow the lead of Montenegro. They were unilaterally proclaimed during the bloody conflicts that followed its 1991 collapse and supported by Moscow, but not recognised by the international community.
Among them, the breakaway republics of Transdniestr in Moldova and Abkhazia in Georgia, were the first to say the vote serves as a model of "self-determination".
"One can only welcome such a civilised method for gaining self-determination," said the "president" of Abkhazia, Sergei Bagapch, quoted by Interfax.
The "foreign minister" of Transdniestr, Valeri Litskai, said the outcome of Sunday's referendum in the tiny Balkan republic was a day for celebration.
"The chief diplomats of all the unrecognised republics of the former Soviet Union were satisfied" with the referendum result, he said after a meeting with representatives of regional minorities in Moscow. -- AFP
oh well, on to their next point: "well, Montenegro WAS an independent nation for 4 centuries before 1920, so, well, its OK for THEM, but not OK for (fill-in-the-blank)..
But it appears the AFP missed that.
Montenegro is an ancient kingdom with its own history and its own branch of the Orthodox Church. For example, its royal family is related by blood and marriage to most of the other royal families of Europe. Montenegro also fought on the side of the allies in WWI.
Let's not forget Wales, Scotland, Catalonia, Malta, Corsica, & etc.
Malta is an independent country. It has been for over 30 years.
First, the Catalan & Basque separatists were referring to Montenegro, not Kosovo.
Second, the Kosovars are saying almost the same thing: "Why is it OK for Montengego to vote to secede, but not us?" Both Kosovo and Montengro were incorporated into the entity most recently known as Serbia & Montenegro by force of arms ratified by Great Power fiat at the end of WWI. Both fought revolts for years that were brutally suppressed. However, Kosovo voted for independence in 1991 and then suffered through the Serb pogroms against the Albanians culminating in the ethnic cleansing campaigns of 1998-99. From their viewpoint, even more so than Montenegro, they deserve independence yesterday.
Finally the Archduke Franz Ferdinand gets his payback!
Even the USA does not have a fully independent Orthodox Church. Nor does Canada.
This is their own Church affairs and has little or nothing to do with man-made geographical boundries. Best NOT to push the issue since neither YOU nor I, nor the politicans can change one iota of the facts.
Archduke was set up by his own secret police.....plus he was a dirty rotten dog anyway!
LIES!! Kosovo was NEVER separate form Serbia and you know it!! How's your Albanian ISLAMICS MOBSTER pals doing today????
Mark-igit is on board with his USUAL LIES!!
Uh-oh, Kenny, I think you're going to get in trouble for saying that!
That should piss the libruls off :)
Uh, except for the five centuries from the 1400s until Serbia invaded and conquered it in 1912 as part of the First Balkan War. I'm sure there's a library near you. Ask someone where it is. They usually have nice ladies there who will help you look it up.
I will now ping you to a very recent article about the Albanian mobsters activities in the destruction of Churches in Kosovo 2 years ago.
Absolutely correct, sir!!
You know it amazes me that so many Americans think it AOK for an ALbanian islamic MOB to crush Christians under their heel ( just like they did in Kosovo during WWII at the behest of Hitler) and destroy their Churches... and yet those SAME Americans whine on ad infinitum about how they distrust wild islamics who attack AMERICA and our way of life.
I see some HYPOCRACY in that, don't you??
Ok to Kill Serbs you ISLAMICS ... but do NOT dare kill one of us Americans!!!
WHAT HAPPENS TO CHRISTIANS IN KOSOVO IS A FATE AMERICAN AND OTHER WESTERN COUNTRIES WILL FACE SOONER IF NOT LATER... unless WE STOP THE MAD DASH TO APPEASE THOSE ISLAMICS MONSTER MOBS IN KOSOVO!!
Given that Native Americans owned Manhattan island much more recently than Serbs have owned Kosovo, true hypocrisy would be for us to squat on our conquered lands while insisting on respecting 600-year-old lapsed tenancies in the old world against the rights of the people who live there now.
Maybe some mongrel islamics will take it for awhile like the Turks did... BUT GOD KNOWS WHO PRAYS TO HIM IN KOSOVO AND IT IS NOT AN ALBANIAN MOSLEM GANGSTERS!
Do me a favor, keep your ideas to yourself. You simply do not know enough about KOSOVO to even venture an opinion!
Or you side with islamics mongrel Albanians.....
The liberary would have told you that the Serbs were driven out of Kosovo at the end of the 17th century (1690) and that Patriarch Arseniye III (Charnoyevich) lead them to Voyvodina. The Serbs sided with Austrians in one of the three Austro-Turkish wars and were abandoned by the Austrians when the war fortune turned against them.
The Turks then decimated (literaly) Serbs across the area and caused them to leave en masse. The care taking of the Serbian Orthodoxy was taken over by the Montenegrin princes.
The Serbs were driven from their homeland. The Albaninas filled the vacuum. By your "logic" the Jews must not have the right to their state of Israel (historical reasons) either, if you believe that the Serbs "invaded" Kosovo after WWI (which was actually in 1913, after the First Balkan War -- I guess you didn't go to the library after all, did you?). If you think the Jews invaded Palestine without any cause than I would say the Serbs invaded Kosovo without any cause in 1913.
When the Serbs moved into that area in the 7th century, they didn't expel anyone or fight with anyone that I know of. It is therefore their homeland. Just as in the case of Israel, do you think that Arab numbers alone will determine if Israel has the right to exist or not? And one day there will be more Arabas in Israel then Jews.
What will the international community say then? Clearly, you and the rest of the international community are practicing double standards.
You favor integration in Bosnia at all cost, forcing people who don't want to live together to live together so that the Bosnian Muslims can have their country; yet when it comes to Kosovo, you favor disintegration. The only common denominator in both cases is the anti-Serb bias.
So, what else is new?
"Montenegro is an ancient kingdom with its own history and its own branch of the Orthodox Church."
Uh, actually, the historic Orthodox Church of Montengro is the Orthodox Church of Serbia. The independent Orthodox Church of Montenegro was, I believe, a pretty recent creation of Djukanovic's, if I'm not mistaken. Also, Montenegro was originally part of Serbia. When the Ottoman TUrks conquered Serbia, much of Montenegro became independent. Even today, most experts would probably consider Montenegrins to be Serbs of a sort.
"Second, the Kosovars are saying almost the same thing: "Why is it OK for Montengego to vote to secede, but not us?""
I have heard that the old Yugoslav Constitution has stated that while constituent Republics, which Montenegro was, had the right to secede, autonomous regions and provinces, such as Kosovo, didn't.
So, if that little Montenegrin gangster wants to tangle further with the EOCC, he will LOSE in more ways than one.
I would NOT want to be him.
But what the heck...mussies all think that way!!
I am corrected. Thank you.
And Taiwan and Chechnya...let's bring the "good" Chinese and Russian governments into this.
This statement needs DE-BUNKING.
Montenegro was not "ancient Kingdom". It became kingdom in 19th century. Montenegrin "Orthodox Church" is not recognized by any Orthodox sister Church in the world. It is bogus private organisation masquerading as Orthodox church. run by former Communists.
Most of the Montenegrins are Orthodox Christians belonging to Serbian Orthodox Church. The most famous Montenegrin, Orthodox Vladika Petar Petrovich Njegos who ruled Montenegro in 19 century was proud for being a Serb.
This is inconvenient fact for former Commies who run independent Montenegro today.
History of the Balkans is fascinating one, there is no need of making things up.
Kosovo is as Serbian as Aztlan is American.
Lemme guess, you want to run away on that question as well? Figures!
I condemn the Kosovar Albanian destruction of Serb churches in Kosovo as well as the Serb attacks on Albanian mosques, tekkes, and Albanian Catholic Churches. I also condemn the Serb destruction of the hundreds of Christian churches & monasteries they dynamited, shelled, looted, and otherwise desecrated in Croatia and the Croat-inhabited areas of Bosnia.
So Lion, do you condemn the Serb attacks on Croatian and Albanian Christian Churches?
Or you side with islamics mongrel Albanians..
ALL CAPS makes up for neither your ignorance or your racism.
In any case, for obvious reasons, arguments for sovereignty based on who lived somewhere hundreds of years ago are not valid. The problem Serbs have with Kosovo is the illegitimacy of an oppressive government. As Senator Jesse Helms said in his speech to the United Nations:
But nations derive their sovereignty their legitimacy from the consent of the governed. Thus, it follows, that nations can lose their legitimacy when they rule without the consent of the governed; they deservedly discard their sovereignty by brutally oppressing their people. Slobodan Milosevic cannot claim sovereignty over Kosovo when he has murdered Kosovars and piled their bodies into mass graves.
And therein lies the crux of the argument for Kosovo independence, not Albanian demographics or ancient Serb claims.
TaLk about ignorant... MARK IT IS you WHO IS IGNORANT... albanians a RACE.... hahaha!!!
YOU are a mussie sympathizer!! Proved time and timne again...NOW, go away!
He IS a mussie apologist!! WHAT do you expect from him?? Sense???
What do you expect from a mussie or utaschi apologist!!
When the US government dismisses all the Hispanic local officials in the Southwest and replaces them with Anglos from outside the area, fires Hispanic workers from their jobs, beats & jails those who protest, burns the villages & schools & religious buildings of the locals, and then sends in the army assisted by drunken bands of paramilitaries to wholesale cleanse the Hispanic population from out of their homes, no matter their citizenship or how long they've lived there--shooting enough to "encourage" cooperation--then and only then can you make a comparison between Aztlan and Kosovo.
As US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton said:
"... the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia, the ethnic cleansing and humanitarian crisis of 1999, ... make Kosovo a very, very special case."
Classic Balkans logic. I condemn the destruction of Catholic Churches by the Serbs in the 1990s and you translate that into me supporting WWII Croatian Nazis.