Did EU Sabotage Grenell

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(Newswire.net— June 26, 2020) —  The EU reacted strongly when US President Donald Trump’s special envoy for the Balkans, Richard Grenell, requested a meeting in the White House between the President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, and the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic.

The EU officials accused the US of trying to bypass the EU in such an important issue concerning Eastern Europe. Richard Grenell said that the EU is ineffective and that the US president wants to end the dispute between Serbia and its southern province Kosovo that the US sees as an independent sovereign nation.

“We do not want to waste our time,” Grenell said when asked by Radio Free Europe (RFE) when the United States expects Serbia and Kosovo to reach an agreement, given that the EU-mediated dialogue in Brussels has lingered on suspension for 14 months.

Although Grenell said that the nature of the meeting is strictly to discuss economy and not politics, the move was condemned by Bruxelles. Grenell also said that the US appreciates action over ineffective talk, which was a Bruxeless’ trademark for resolving disputes.

Only days before the scheduled meeting in Washington, the Special Court for war crimes in Hague launched a proposition of an indictment that accuses the President of Kosovo and eight of his closest associates of hideous war crimes. The indictment text says Kosovo’s president Hashim Tachi is personally responsible for at least 100 killings.

The result of such a move is immediate cancelation of Tachi’s trip to Washington, and thus the failure of the meeting with Grenell.

Giving that the Tribunal in Hague has been building the indictment against Kosovo leaders for more than four years, it is peculiar that, not an indictment but a proposal of an indictment, was launched prior to the scheduled meeting. Also, it is not common practice that the Tribunal launches a “proposal” of an indictment rather than indictment as a full document prepared by prosecutors.

The surprise announcement on Wednesday by the prosecutor’s office at the Kosovo specialist chambers in the Hague court appeared designed to scupper chances for a White House deal that could make Thaci politically untouchable, the Guardian reports.

Kosovo’s Prime minister Hoti’s predecessor, Albin Kurti, accused Grenell of helping to bring down his government because it had resisted a US-backed deal with Serbia. 


Did Grennel just intend to annoy Merkel?

Analysts say that this precedent in the Tribunal’s practice is made to undermine the talks initiated by Donald Trump and to demonstrate that Richard Grenell was wrong when he thought that he can bypass the EU in such matters.

German analyst and expert on political issues related to the Western Balkans, Bodo Weber, stated that the agreements in principle between Kosovo and Serbia, signed with the mediation of Special Representative Richard Grenell, do not offer a solution for initiating a dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

“The motive behind Grenell’s activities is mainly to promote the [Trump’s] administration itself, not the future of Kosovo and Serbia. And worst of all, to anger the German chancellor,” Weber said.


War crimes indictment

The Special Prosecutor’s Office for the crimes committed in Kosovo has filed an indictment against Hashim Thaci and Kadri Veseli for crimes against humanity and war crimes, it was published on the website of the Tribunal.

According to the statement, the decision was made on April 24 this year, when the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office submitted a ten-count indictment to the court chambers, by which Hashim Thaci, the current president of so-called state of  Kosovo and Kadri Veseli, the spokesperson of the Kosovo parliament, as well as others, are charged with a number of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, rape, persecution, and torture.


Who was Tachi before he became the Kosovo President?

After the bombing of Serbia in 1999, for which the UN Security Council never gave its consent, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence. Hashim Tachi was one of the commanders of the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) that fought Serbian troops.  After the war ended Thaci and other KLA commanders became politicians and took up office.

It is interesting that until the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the KLA was on the CIA’s list of terrorist organizations, but the Clinton administration removed it from that list and declared KLA as freedom fighters in need of NATO’s help. Hashim Tachi had good relations with Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright, and the statue of Bill Clinton was erected in the Kosovo capital Pristina. 

Serbia provided respectable resistance to the KLA but eventually had to forfeit after a bombing campaign that devastated the Serbian economy and infrastructure. This was particularly hard because Kosovo is considered the cradle of Serbian medieval history and many Christian Serbian monasteries were left in ruins, in the territory now in control by Islamists.


How Serbians become a minority at Kosovo?
After WWII, Yugoslav leader TITO allowed refugees from neighboring Islamist Albania to settle in Kosovo. Muslims were allowed to have more wives so the average Albanian family had more than 10 children, while the average Serbian family had 2-3. In 50 years, this has led to the majority population in Kosovo becoming Albanian and led to the creation of secessionist groups, such as KLA, that aimed to forcibly separate Kosovo from Serbia and annex it to Albania.

When Yugoslavia disappeared in the civil war, KLA sought its chance to fulfill their mission and to forcibly succeed from Serbia. It is estimated that KLA ethnically cleansed more than 250.000 Serbs from their homes in Kosovo. At the same time, the media in the US spread news stories portraying Muslim Albanians as victims.