HASHIM Thaci, the former leader of the American-backed terrorist group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), and the Prime Minister in the Serbian province, declared on Sunday that Kosovo was ‘proud, independent and free’.
He said: ‘As I feel the heartbeat of my ancestors I will read the declaration of independence of Kosovo.’
His declaration comes almost nine years after the US-led NATO imperialist military alliance invaded the Serbian Province of Kosovo after a 78-day bombing blitz on Yugoslavia in 1999.
Today, 16,000 NATO troops are occupying the Serbian province, administered by UNMIK, which was authorised under UN Security Council Resolution 1244. The imperialists have troops on standby to swell the ranks of the NATO pan-Balkans Operational Reserve Force, including 800 British reservists.
Unsurprisingly, after Thaci’s speech, US President George Bush said: ‘We have strongly supported the Ahtisaari (independence) plan.’
Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband also gave his backing to Thaci’s ‘independence’ statement, declaring that it is a ‘unique situation which deserves a unique response’. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said: ‘I wish good luck to Kosovo.’
However, the former terrorist leader’s declaration drew an angry response from Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who said: ‘Kosovo is Serbia and that is how it always will be.’
In the wake of Thaci’s statement, the Russian government demanded an emergency UN Security Council meeting. Only last week, President Vladimir Putin said a declaration of independence in Kosovo was ‘illegal, ill-conceived and immoral’.
Russia’s representative to NATO, Dmitriy Rogozin, said: ‘This means a transition towards absolute chaos. The law of brutal force is today above international law.’ He warned that ‘this will end up badly for both the Balkans and Europe as a whole’.
Certainly, what is taking place in Kosovo will have important repercussions for workers throughout Europe. It demonstrates the dangers the working class faces as a result of the counter-revolutionary activities of NATO, the UN and the European Union (EU).
It was the ‘brutal force’ of NATO that opened the way for the terrorist Thaci to become the ‘Prime Minister’ in Kosovo in 2007. NATO handed over day-to-day administration to the UN.
Lenin described the predecessor of the UN, the League of Nations, as an imperialist ‘thieves’ kitchen’. The UN is organising the theft of Kosovo from Serbia and handing it over to the EU’s leading imperialist powers, Germany, France, Italy and Britain.
The EU has already spent £1.5bn on Kosovo. It will spend another £250m in the next two years and send 2,000 people there to act as police, judges, lawyers and administrators for the EU’s puppet mini-state.
For the past decade and a half, the leading imperialist powers have been going to war to destroy the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, atomise it and destroy the gains of the 1944 Yugoslav Revolution.
Germany sponsored Croatia’s breakaway, the US carved out Bosnia-Hercegovina with its bombers and now Kosovo is being carved out with NATO guns and EU cash.
The NATO imperialists see their military build-up in former Yugoslavia as a stepping stone to an eastern front for counter-revolutionary interventions and war against Russia, to destroy the gains of the October Revolution, and to grab its oil and gas resources.
Workers in Britain, in other EU states and in the US must take action to stop the imperialist warmongers by mobilising political and industrial action to bring down the militarist regimes of the likes of Bush and Brown and withdraw imperialist troops from all foreign countries.
The modern ‘Balkanisation’ of the region has resulted in the creation of mini-states manipulated by the ‘Great Powers’, the US and EU imperialists.
To end imperialist intimidation and develop the region, workers in the Balkan states must drive the UN/NATO imperialists out, establish workers’ power, organise the revolutionary reconstitution of Yugoslavia and go forward to a Federation of Balkan Socialist States.