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PRESS RELEASE


Greater EU Policy Is Running Kosovo;
EU Lisbon Policy Is To Confront Russia

March 4, 2008 (EIRNS)—Kosovo is now being run by the 15-member International Steering Group on Kosovo, which held its first meeting in Vienna Feb. 28. This regime was already proposed by former UN envoy to Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari a full year ago, when he said that independence with international supervision (!) was the only way to run Kosovo. The ISG will only admit supporters of Kosovan independence.

Ahtisaari, a former president of Finland, has a long career in conflict resolution behind him, in Africa and in Aceh, Indonesia. In October 2007, Ahtisaari wrote an article on "Empowering Europe," by greatly strengthening the EU's foreign policy operations, especially to confront the "belligerent" Russia of Vladimir Putin. Ahtisaari wrote this article with former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer and two other members of the just-established European Council on Foreign Relations, Mabel van Oranje and Mark Leonard. This ECFR was set up to demand a much stronger role for the EU High Representative for foreign policy, as Europe is taken over by the Lisbon Treaty.

Kosovo will be a laboratory for this EU policy. The ISG, headed by Holland's Pieter Feith, chief EU representative in Kosovo, is made up of all the nations which have promoted Kosovo's independence: Austria, Belgium, Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the U.S. Along with this EU-led authority, a full 17,000 NATO troops are still deployed in Kosovo, which has a population of barely 2 million people. The ISG has already rejected any partition of Kosovo, and Feith said Feb. 28 that member nations must be the friends of Kosovo independence. He also said that the group will not admit any parallel security institution to manifest itself on the territory of Kosovo. Yesterday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin called the ISG contradictory to United Nations decisions, and said this could have unpredictable consequences, AP reported today. The ISG's mandate is supposed to be for 120 days.

Ahtisaari submitted his report demanding this supervised independence as early as on March 26, 2007. In his report to the UN Secretary General, Ahtisaari rejected any further negotiations out of hand, writing that no amount of additional talks, whatever the format, will overcome this impasse between Kosovo and Serbia. He based his case for independence on the "dynamic political process" generated under the eight-year supervision of the province by the UN Mission in Kosovo, although he did acknowledge the weakness of the economic situation. He proposed that the exercise of Kosovo's independence be supported for an initial period by international civilian and military presences. Their powers should be strong in critical areas, he said.