Global Independent Analytics
Vanja Vojinovic
Vanja Vojinovic

Location: Serbia

Specialization: Kosovo, Serbia, Belgrad bombing

Kosovo: thank you NATO bombs! We`re entering UNESCO!

Kosovo forever!

Over the years, the self-proclaimed state of Kosovo has developed a variety of purposes that are on the side of its independent functioning, without any contact with Serbia. So, this year they came up with the idea of developing science, education, and culture, and hence the need for membership in UNESCO.

The great majority of Serbia's citizens, however, oppose such a membership because, first of all, it is inconceivable that the Gracanica Monastery, which was built in 1321 by Serbian King Milutin and which is one of the most important monuments of the old Serbian culture, would in such a case become part of another people's cultural heritage. Not only Gracanica but also the Visoki Decani Monastery from 1335, which was built by King Stefan of Decani III, then the Church of Our Lady, Patriarchate of Pec and so on.

On the other hand, Petrit Selimi, Kosovo's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, believes that membership in UNESCO will improve the position of Serbian heritage in Kosovo and that it is a bridge that could connect Belgrade and Pristina. In a word, the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo would be even better protected than it has been until now.

The reality is, I'm afraid, a little different. If this newly-recognized state becomes a full member of UNESCO, then Pristina would gain all administrative rights over the protected monuments of Serbs, meaning Serbia itself would no longer wield any authority over them. Also, this membership would be another argument for Kosovo's “statehood.”

As a reminder, in front of the eyes of 20,000 NATO troops, the only “guardians of peace and order” in Kosovo, Albanians started to destroy Serbian holy shrines and persecute Serbs, driving them out of their century-old homes. NATO gave the green light to Albanians to act upon their own free will.

The main task (and priority) of the NATO peacekeeping force was protecting minorities in Kosovo and preventing their forced eviction. More than 4,000 Serbs have had to leave their homes. During the March 2004 pogrom, 35 Orthodox churches were burned and destroyed, in which 18 monuments of special cultural significance disappeared or were damaged along with more than 10,000 frescoes, icons, and the records of marriages, baptisms, and death which testified to the centuries-long history of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. Despite all these facts and figures, now Kosovo wants to preserve Serbian sacred places. Is this ironic? To me, it seems so.

After NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, it was no longer difficult to answer the question as to whether NATO's task was to stop Albanians in their anti-Christian pogrom of Serbs, or to actually encourage them and cover the backs of those who pushed ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

It is therefore no surprise that, according to the latest data obtained from the survey Serbian organization 'Zavetnici' ', 78.8 percent of citizens of Serbia are against Serbia's accession to NATO, and only 10.4 percent are for ‘yes', and these were calculated out of a representative sample of 7,400 residents in 42 municipalities.

Does NATO, as the personification of rough power, fit the image of the future and beautiful world in which we should all live? Can it be a guarantor for peaceful relations between Balkan peoples? In this example, we can see that the main policy of the North Atlantic Alliance is revealed in the old Roman maxim: “Divide and Conquer.”

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