Last December 10, after four months of futile shuttle diplomacy, the mediating effort by the U.N. Contact Group “troika” to reach an agreement on the final status for Kosovo predictably collapsed. “Neither party was able to cede its position on the fundamental question of sovereignty,” the U.S.-E.U.-Russian group reported to the U.N. Secretary General. The European Union leaders reached the same conclusion on December 14 and made a feeble offer to Serbia—immediately rejected by Belgrade—of accelerated E.U. membership in exchange for “flexibility” over Kosovo’s status.
All negotiations were doomed to fail because, as Condoleezza Rice declared from the outset, independence would be reached “one way or another.” The Kosovo Albanian leaders—war criminals and heroin kingpins with jihadist ties—could afford to sit back and dismiss out of hand any proposal that fell short of what the Americans had promised.
The Albanians will likely proceed with a unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) after the second round of the presidential election in Serbia (February 2), with the U.S.-imposed delay calculated to ensure the reelection of Serbia’s “reformist, pro-Western” President Boris Tadic. The UDI will be recognized by the United States, by the Islamic world, and by some—but by no means all—E.U. countries.