>Serbian media are reporting that President Boris Tadic and his Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac attended a meeting today at Army Headquarters with the military’s chiefs of staff and unit and brigade commanders. Following the session, Šutanovac refused to disclose details, insisting only that the Serbian armed forces would not enter Kosovo in order to confront the secessionist government in Pristina and NATO’S Kosovo Force, which consists of 16,000 multinational troops. The Serbian Army possess only twice that number.
However, Russia has apparently backed up its vocal support for Serbia with the current deployment of its Northern and Black Sea Fleets in the Mediterranean, as well as its moratorium on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, effective today, permitting the Kremlin to move its 22,800 (known) main battle tanks west of the Urals. In addition, Russia’s close relationship with the Igor Smirnov regime in the unrecognized republic of Transnistria, wedged between Moldova and Ukraine, offers Russia a stopover for its strategic bombers en route to the Balkans. In any event, the airspace over the Balkan Peninsula and the Not-So-Former Soviet Bloc is controlled by sympathetic paleo-/neo-/crypto-communist regimes like those in Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary.
President Tadic was jailed several times for anti-communist activities in the 1980s and has no apparent connection to the old communist regime of Slobodan Milosevic. In 2001, however, Tadic congratulated Dobrica Cosic on the occasion of the communist-turned-dissident’s 80th birthday. In 1993 Cosic allegedly broke with Milosevic and in 2000 joined the opposition group Otpor, founded by students from the state-run University of Belgrade. Interestingly, Cosic is to this day a professor at the same university. Otpor was instrumental in agitating for the downfall of President Milosevic on October 5, 2000. In 2003 Otpor became a political party and was then absorbed by Tadic’s pre-Yugoslavia Democratic Party in 2004.
Tadić, Army discuss Kosovo
12 December 2007 09:12 Source: B92, Tanjug
BELGRADE — Boris Tadić and the chiefs of staff have been looking at ways to counter violence, and deemed the situation in the south as stable.
The president and Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac attended a meeting of Army Headquarters chiefs of staff and the commanders of units and brigades, where they discussed current measures for dealing with emergency situations.
However, Šutanovac did not divulge many of the details of the meeting, and in a concise statement, he said that he and the president had been informed of the Army’s recent activities and of the security situation in the country.
According to the statement, Lieutenant Zdravko Ponoš told Tadić and Šutanovac that the security situation in south Serbia in the Ground Safety Zone was stable, and stressed the significance of the hitherto good relations between the army and KFOR. Even though, as was stated, measures had been considered to avert emergency situations, the defense minister did not go into any further details.
“Apart from the fact that it was a detailed conversation, and that we discussed serious plans affecting not just the current situation, but also serious plans for the future development of Serbia’s and the Serbian Army’s defense system, I can tell you no more. The current situation is always a theme, but, there is nothing in particular to suggest any specific engagements in the next few days,” he maintained.
Also on Tuesday, after a meeting with the Romanian defense minister, Šutanovac said that he had received firm assurances from KFOR and NATO that international forces would prevent any outbreak of violence.
“There is a latent danger of violence and conflict in Kosovo, but all the relevant actors who have troops within the international contingent in Kosovo, from ministers to generals in charge of NATO and KFOR, have given me firm assurances that there won’t be any surprises, but that they will act and prevent any conflict,” the defense minister told daily Večernje Novosti.
Asked whether there was any possibility of the Serbian Army entering Kosovo and protecting the Serbs there in the event of the Albanians attacking northern Kosovska Mitrovica, he said that the army would never come to blows with KFOR.
“Among all these scenarios, the only illogical one is clashing with KFOR, that would involve once again clashing with the international community,” Šutanovac stated. The defense minister said that “16,500 highly-trained KFOR troops” were stationed in Kosovo, “who were there to create a buffer between the Serbs and Albanians.”
“If KFOR engages in a manner and degree that it can, there will be no need for others to react,” he assured.
Šutanovac concluded by saying that he did not expect a decision on Kosovo’s status to be taken until the spring, and reiterated that the Kosovo crisis could not be solved through war.
With a unilateral declaration of independence only weeks away, European Union leaders emerged from a summit in Brussels today to float a peace plan for Kosovo called “unity with flexibility.” In this scenario, which essentially preserves the status quo, Kosovo will remain an autonomous region within Serbia. Realistically, it will entail the continuous presence of international troops in Kosovo to ensure that Belgrade does not reassert centralized control over the breakaway province.
In a somewhat related story, the leaders of the Communist Bloc, much as KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn warned more than 20 years ago, continue to openly network with little concern on the part of the sleepwalking Western shopping mall regimes. “Ex”-CPSU Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov’s recent one-day working trip to Budapest is a perfect example. There Zubkov conferred with “ex”-communist PM Ferenc Gyurcsany (both pictured here) on economic and, probably, other matters of mutual concern to neo-Soviet Russia and its satellite Hungary. State-run Novosti reports that Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich plays a key role in keeping the relationship between Moscow and Budapest “tight”:
Hungarian national air carrier Malev could sign a deal with Russia’s Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, a subsidiary of Sukhoi aircraft manufacturing holding, to buy 15 Sukhoi SuperJet-100 medium-haul passenger aircraft on the sidelines of the inter-government talks. Malev, in which Russia’s richest man Roman Abramovich holds a large stake, announced plans to acquire Russian airliners in spring. The catalogue price of a 95-seat basic version of the Sukhoi SuperJet-100 is $28 million.
Last month former Soviet tyrant Mikhail Gorbachev visited Budapest to host his World Political Forum, a collection of leftist politicians and subversives from around the world, to lash out against US National Missile Defense. PM Gyurcsany attended the conference.