REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO TO BE ARMED WITH AMERICAN WEAPONS
SHIPMENTS OF U.S. ARMS PREPARING FOR REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO
Serbia, acting as an extended hand of Russia, will not be able to pose military threat to the neighbouring Republic of Kosovo anylonger. Serbian Prime Minister should stop invoking international law with respect to Kosovo, because Serbia has repeatedly violated it.
PHOTO ABOVE: U.S. Military prepares for shipment of arms to
Republic of Kosovo, which has been authorized by President Bush.
President George W. Bush authorized Wednesday supplying Republic of Kosovo with the U.S. weapons.
Serbia is an extended hand of Russia in the Balkans. Even today, you can see billboards of Russian president Vladimir Putin throughout Serbia and some parts of neighbouring Republic of Kosovo. In a photo (on the left), you can see a billboard with picture of former Russian President Putin in the town of Leposavic in north Kosovo. The text on billboard reads "Russia".
Serbia was at war against the NATO alliance in 1999 and anti-Western sentiment is at an all time high in this country.
The United Nations in Kosovo accused Serbian officials on Tuesday of orchestrating violent clashes in the neighbouring Republic of Kosovo in which one Ukrainian policeman was killed and dozens of other officers were wounded. Serbian demonstrators attacked international peacekeepers with rocks, hand grenades and firebombs on Monday as the UN police were removing protesters from inside a UN courthouse. The two sides traded gunfire, and more than 60 UN and NATO forces and 70 protesters were hurt.
On Wednesday, Bush signed a Presidential Determination granting Kosovo eligibility to receive defense articles and defense services under the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act, which require that the president determine that military assistance "will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace."
In a memo to the State Department made public by the White House, Bush said, quote:
"I hereby find that the furnishing of defense articles and defense services to Kosovo will strengthen the security of the United States and promote world peace."
The United States was among the first countries to recognize Kosovo after its Feb. 17 declaration of independence.
The White House said Bush's move would strengthen U.S. security relations with Kosovo, promote security and stability throughout the Balkans and improve Kosovo's capacity to take part in peacekeeping activities, deter terrorists and deal with humanitarian emergencies.
"The actual provision of defense articles or defense services will be considered on a case-by-case basis, including with respect to relevant guidelines and criteria established in the existing Conventional Arms Transfer policy," the White House said.
"Each request will also be reviewed to ensure that all legal requirements and constraints existing at the time with regard to the sale, lease, or other transfer are satisfied."
Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has slammed President Bush's decision to send arms to Kosovo by reminding President Bush of internatonal law - the very same law Serbia has repeatedly violated and the very same law Serbia has shown utter disregard for.
"There are already too many weapons in Kosovo and, instead of further arming the ethnic Albanians, it would be much better if America were to start respecting international law and the United Nations (UN) Charter again. It’s not new weapons that are required for Kosovo, but new negotiations," said Kostunica.
As Andras Riedlmayer pointed out in his recent piece titled "Belgrade and international law", quote:
"Belgrade government officials, especially PM Kostunica, like to invoke international law with respect to Serbia's future relations with the EU and its objections to Kosovo's independence. What is almost never mentioned is Serbia's own record with respect to its international legal obligations."
Between 8,000 and 10,000 Bosniaks were summarily executed during Srebrenica genocide. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) found Serbia responsible for violating the obligation to prevent genocide, under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, in respect of the genocide in Srebrenica in July 1995.
The ICJ ordered Serbia to immediately take effective steps to ensure full compliance with its obligation under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to punish acts of genocide as defined by Article II of the Convention, or any of the other acts proscribed by Article III of the Convention, and to transfer individuals accused of genocide or any of those other acts for trial by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and to co-operate fully with that Tribunal.
Since ICJ handed its judgment against Serbia, a year has gone by and Belgrade has done nothing to comply with the ruling.
AFP reported that the US official, who asked not to be identified, said the US weapons deliveries were preparing the ground for the future, adding that the United States had struck similar relations with other countries in the region.
PHOTO CAPTION: Face of a Serbian extremist, a member of radical Serbian association 'Sloga', screaming against the independence of Kosovo, in Berlin March 8, 2008.