The History of Kosovo


The paper investigates the history of Kosovo and, in particular, the sequence of events of the Kosovo conflict. The research supports the idea that the territory of Kosovo became a battlefield of the two superpowers’ interests, the USA and Russia. Furthermore, Kosovo’s inner ethnic disagreement served as a pushing mechanism for the development of the abovementioned conflict. Consequently, the paper focuses on both internal and external compounds of the military intervention in Kosovo and proves that the interests pursued by the USA and Russia played a significant role in the conflict’s development. In addition, the paper concerns such aspects as the historic background of Kosovo and possible triggers of the conflict, the factors of destabilization, and the lessons which one can learn from the military operations in the region. It also pays special attention to the role of NATO in the conflict’s development and ways of its resolution.

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The problem of Kosovo’s independence is a significant issue of modern history within the context of international relations and current international policy. The United States has always had the primary responsibility for this political dilemma. The literature on the history of international relations can find a different interpretation of the US policy regarding the issue of former Yugoslavia. The proponents of ‘conspiracy theories tend to discuss the consistent implementation of the US rate at the fragmentation of Yugoslavia and the formation of an independent state. An alternative view supports the available sources and documents, which mainly claim that the US responded to the Balkan events and tried to build its policy based on realities that have evolved autonomously in the background.

Analyzing the dynamics of the formation of the US Balkan policy, it is essential to note that this process was under acute debate in America. This was particularly noticeable in the early 1990s, the period of intense activities of the supporters of the US policy aimed at the so-called neo-isolationism in the international context. Therefore, the conflict in Kosovo resulted from two factors, namely internal and external. The latter is directly linked to the competition between the USA and Russia, while the internal aspect concerns the ethnic struggle of the peoples within Kosovo.

What Happened in Kosovo

The crisis around Kosovo concluded the first decade of the post-bipolar world. Continuous division of Europe as well as the beginning of the economic, social, and political transformation of Russia had created the basis for the formation of a unified security system throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The recent antagonists, the US and Russia, formally proclaimed each other the strategic partners sharing common values ?? and pursuing identical or parallel interests. Those events became a trigger point for the situation in Kosovo.

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The Kosovo crisis of 1999 was the first openly tough confrontation between Russia and the US after the end of the Cold War (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). The outburst of anti-Americanism had become a response to NATO strikes against Yugoslavia; the organization was able to implement them due to the expansion of the alliance that Moscow had tried to prevent in vain. Apart from the international dispute, the 1998 financial crash in Russia and the subsequent severe economic crisis served as other prerequisites for amplifying the tension in Russia – US relations (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). This crisis is extremely rigid form demonstrated the dependence of Russia on the West, especially on the USA. Many Russians perceived such a state of the country as humiliating. However, many experts and officials in the US considered the crisis as the final contribution to the failure of the Russian reforms.

The conflict over Kosovo has cemented a new historical ‘undocking’ between Russia and the US, leaving the unanswered question of how the new model of Russian-American relations would and should function (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). The relationship between a single superpower and its former competitor, for all their significance, is no longer a central element of world politics (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). The Kosovo crisis highlighted other important features of the new order requiring profound study and reflection.

The Kosovo crisis has become the most important precedent in the contemporary practice of international relations. It means that for the first time in history, a military strike against a sovereign state was a response not to external aggression but to internal conflict and state violence against its population. The reaction of the NATO countries had practically the same manifestations (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). Hence, tough foreign policy realism, the desire to realize the ideal of democracy in a multi-ethnic society, the pressure of citizens in favor of ‘taking action,’ and manipulating public consciousness through the media were the factors of utmost importance.

The Kosovo crisis, on the one hand, is still another argument in the abovementioned conflict of the desire of states to protect their territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. On the other hand, it appears to be an attempt of secessionist movements to achieve state independence under the slogan of national self-determination (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). While the world community of states is still trying to observe the principle of inviolability of borders, its implementation seems to be a difficult task.

The dilemma lies in several cases – especially after brutal conflicts – to ensure the joint safe living of competing ethnic groups within the framework of not only a unitary but also a federative state (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). Accordingly, such a situation stalls the settlement process even in the areas where the truce has been achieved for several years. Five years after the signing of the Dayton Accords, the further fate of Bosnia and Herzegovina is unambiguously undefined (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). Moreover, it can be influenced by one or another variation of the solution to the Kosovo problem.

The essence of the Kosovo conflict is purely ethnic-related. Kosovo Albanians believe that with the adoption of the 1990 Constitution of Serbia, the government destroyed the autonomy of the province (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). It forced officials to launch a campaign of civil disobedience in the region since they had confronted a massive indefinite strike (Dyker & Vejvoda, 2014). The dissolved parliament decided to start creating ‘parallel structures of power at a secret meeting in the form of underground parliament and government.

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In this light of events, the Albanian teachers refused to follow the new school curriculum and expressed a desire to teach children according to the Albanian programs in the Albanian language. In response, the authorities refused to finance such educational initiatives (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). Meanwhile, Albanian children stopped going to public schools, and, thus, school staff had to hold classes in other places. While a large number of Albanian teachers and professors were dismissed from the civil service, the Albanian University continued its work under the circumstances of the underground position. The illegal education system encompassed approximately 500,000 children (480 schools) and 15,000 students (13 faculties of the university and seven higher schools) (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). As a result, the whole region was divided into two parallel societies – Albanian and Serbian. Each had its management system, education, economy, and culture. As for the economy, undoubtedly, Albanians dominated creating private firms with solid capital (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). However, Serbs had more organized political structures as the Albanians boycotted the elections and refused to hold administrative posts.

In general, the essence of the Kosovo problem lies in the clash of interests of the majority of the Albanian population of the region, which had expressed a desire to separate from Yugoslavia, create their national state, and join Albania. Also, the interests of the Republic of Serbia and Yugoslavia were to defend the integrity of their territory. Both sides used all available measures to achieve their goals (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). Violations of human rights in the province, caused by the strengthening of the police regime, were equally a consequence of the Albanians’ refusal to use the rights granted by the Constitution of Serbia.

Since 1989, Kosovo Albanians have boycotted the elections; however, their participation could allow them to govern all the regional authorities, have 30 seats in the Assembly of Serbia, and engage in solving nationwide problems (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). The difficulties in the field of education in many respects were related to the resistance of the Albanian population to the province’s educational system in Yugoslavia and the reluctance to recognize the state institutions of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In 1996, The UN Secretary-General, B. Boutros-Ghali, assessed the situation in Kosovo as deadlock (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). He clarified his opinion on the situation in Kosovo by citing the fact that the parties adhered to diametrically opposite views on the status and future of the region (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). Against a backdrop of the country’s collapse, accompanied by conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, as well as the introduction of international sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, Belgrade decided to delay the settlement of the Kosovo problem for an indefinite period (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). The Serbian leadership kept the situation under control only with the help of the police forces in the province. According to the reports of several Albanians, the police constantly led them to so-called information conversations, conducted searches in Albanian villages, arrested men, interrogated them, and sometimes subjected them to corporal punishment (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). Furthermore, the police controlled all roads and regulated the activities of media as well as other spheres of public life. Consequently, such harsh enforcement measures triggered a new wave of resistance (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). The Yugoslav border guards tried to stop the militants marching across the border and applied an avalanche of weapons to suppress the separatists.

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The number of terrorist groups along with the smuggled weapons from Albania penetrated the territory of Kosovo. The aggressiveness of these groups in clashes with Yugoslav border guards signified the necessity of training the Albanians for further military actions (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). The border guards had found seven terrorist organizations (some even comprised several hundred people) during four-day raids in April 1998. In the spring of 1998, the confrontation of armed Albanian groups with the police resembled a civil war (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). There were also attempts to expand the zone of control, and, thus, the army government departments, and police tried to prevent the illicit activities (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). They also actively destroyed the weapons stores and the separatist support bases moving towards the border with Albania.

By October 1998, the police enforcement managed to practically clear Kosovo of rebellious armed formations that had been pushed back to the Albanian border (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). The Yugoslav delegation noted that regardless of the progress made in Rambouillet, negotiations should continue, clearly defining the terms of Kosovo’s autonomy and affirming Serbia and Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). The statement of Kosovo delegation in its turn agreed to sign the treaty on the condition that the Albanian population of Kosovo could hold a referendum on independence in three years (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). The US representatives, however, rejected the possibility of negotiating the talks, specifying that the proposed text should be signed on the first day of the start of the second round.

The Federative Republic of Yugoslavia received an ultimatum: if the Yugoslav delegation signed a peace agreement, the NATO troops would be introduced to the territory of the province (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). Also, in case of refusal to sign, the Serbs would have to take the responsibility for the failure of negotiations, which presupposed the punishment in the form of bomb strikes. Yugoslavia sharply condemned the ultimatum and expressed its readiness to sign the previously agreed political part of the treaty insisting on ensuring the integrity of Serbia even after the expiration of the three-year ‘transition period.’ Only after meeting their requirements, did the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia agree to consider the scope and nature of the international presence in Kosovo to implement the agreement (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). The Albanian delegation also did not make any concessions refusing to sign an agreement and disarm the army. Moreover, its representatives also demanded a referendum on independence after the end of the three-year transition period and the presence of the forces of the North Atlantic alliance on its territory.

The second round of negotiations commenced in Paris on March 15, 1999 (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). The proposal of the Yugoslav delegation to continue the peace talks was not supported. The Albanian delegation was allowed to sign the agreement unilaterally. However, the representative of Russia refused to certify this document since during the functioning of the Contact Group, its members did not discuss military contacts (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015). Having frustrated the continuation of the discussion, the United States and NATO began to prepare for punitive actions for disrupting the negotiations. On March 24, NATO launched the first missile and bomb strikes on Yugoslavia (Dyrstad, Ellingsen, & Red, 2015).

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What Has Been Made to Destabilize Kosovo

The cessation of the bloodshed in Kosovo was the immediate task of the world community, which took control of the Kosovo crisis. Judging by the situation that developed after the failure of the negotiations in Paris, it was also clear that a purely political solution to the issue did not suffice (Behrends, 2015). The actions of the Serbian Special Forces took an increasingly fierce character as they aimed to demilitarize the province. Moreover, the implementation of this strategy was not possible without intermitting the international separation forces into the sector of the conflict (Behrends, 2015). However, the way to solve this problem, proposed by the Western members of the Contact Group, namely concerned the implementation of the political aspects of the peace plan under the control of NATO forces (Behrends, 2015). Since the Yugoslav side initially rejected the terms of the compromise, it was doomed to failure.

About the conflict in Kosovo, the US and leading European states have made a radical turn in the question of the principles of settling the ethnopolitical and separatist dispute while maintaining adherence to their anti-Yugoslav bias (Behrends, 2015). The opposition to the forces of ethnic nationalism and support of the ethnoterritorial redistribution started to fade with the advent of patronage of separatism inspired by the Great Albanian ideas as well as guided by the ideal of a monoethnic state and for many decades practicing the semi-violent displacement of the Slav population of the region (Behrends, 2015). At the same time, S. Milosevic’s regime became the main target of the Western governments’ military pressure (Behrends, 2015). It proved to perform an unnatural role as the defender of multinational Yugoslav statehood and the champion of international legal legitimacy in the Kosovo case.

The direct connivance of the terrorist actions of the Kosovo Liberation Army, as well as its subsequent open support from the West, was incompatible with intransigence towards terrorism, which had been declared one of the main threats to international security (Behrends, 2015). The course for the integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina directly contradicted the attempts to impose a status on Kosovo that would eventually lead to the disintegration of the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Formally, while no one questioned the integrity of the Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, Kosovo’s independence was not supported by any involved party. However, proposals on the transitional or ‘postponed’ status of the region cast doubt about a principled choice, not tactics.

The Western powers poorly coordinated the real course of action with their stated position, which was also noted by American critics of the course of the Clinton administration. They could not understand such contradictory policy either from the standpoint of international law or in the context of maintaining stability in the conflict-prone zones of the post-totalitarian world by applying the tactics of resolving ethnopolitical conflicts (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). Meanwhile, this behavior is extremely logical to follow the scenario of purposeful reheating and self-serving use of the conflict situation (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). Thusly, it is hardly possible to discuss the mistakes, misunderstandings, and accidents.

If the true aims of the West regarding the conflict in Kosovo were to ‘tame’ an unruly Yugoslavia by making it a pseudo-state modeled after Bosnia and Herzegovina and destabilizing the regime of S. Milosevic, then, any other approach would be less productive (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). The political reasons, in this case, would include the command-administrative system that spread political control over all layers of society as well as the general crisis of the socialist camp, which radically changed the system of ideological values ?? of the involved ethnic groups (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015). Also, the transition of power and authority on the allocation of the total resources of the country from the central party-state nomenclature of the leaders of national movements that sought national revenge is important.

Numerous European countries contributed to the process of conflict stabilization. For instance, Greece developed a certain plan which would assist in overcoming the military situation. Turkey adopted a similar approach proposing some measures to stabilize peace in the region. Nonetheless, none of the plans came into action. The development of Albanian separatism could comprise the following stages: the 1950s was characterized by promoting nationalism; the 1960s were marked by the demonstrations, protests, and provocations against the Serb population; the 1970s – 1980sconcerned the armed struggle as well as the uprising; and, finally, the end of the 1990s was notable for the severe fight for independence (Economides & Ker-Lindsay, 2015).

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Were there the Achievements or Stabilizations of Kosovo

To understand if the attempts to stabilize Kosovo were positive or negative, it was significant to consider the problem of the conflict from the perspective of other countries. The evolution of the crisis within and around Kosovo confirms the fact that the conflict is still extremely far from a final resolution. Additionally, it is as remote as the prospects for peace and stability in the Balkan region. By the year 1998, the most dangerous stages of the Kosovo crisis, as a rule, had resulted in the elaboration of compromise, namely formal and informal agreements. They were based on mutual concessions of the parties. Nonetheless, this did not remove but only temporarily suppressed the relentlessness of the dispute that posed a potential threat to the European world. NATO’s military action against Yugoslavia, which began at the end of March 1999, led to the transformation of the Kosovo issues into an international conflict.

The crisis around Kosovo has had a direct impact on the intra-Balkan situation fraught with dangerous consequences. The unresolved Kosovo conflict intensifies almost all the challenges that the Balkan world has encountered since the end of the Cold War: from inter-ethnic conflicts, terrorism, and human rights violations to uncontrolled migrations, drug trafficking, and the proliferation of criminal structures. Additionally, the disintegration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and armed conflicts on its territory caused sharp contradictions. They took place between the former union republics, as well as in the republics themselves, promoting the discrimination of the national minorities. Until the middle of the 1990s, as long as Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina were involved in military operations, the conflict in Kosovo had been undergoing a stage of internal development. However, even then, there were concerns about the possibility of hostility outside Yugoslavia if the Serbian leadership would use enforcement measures against the Albanian population of Kosovo. Most of the Balkan countries made attempts to protect themselves in the conditions of increased instability by normalizing relations with their neighbors.

Greece proposed an interesting approach to the stabilization of Kosovo. To achieve the peaceful settlement of the Kosovo conflict, Greek experts put forward the following specific recommendations. Firstly, they suggested the restoration of the autonomous status of Kosovo, which should precede the conclusion of negotiations. Secondly, the international guarantees of the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia should exclude the possibility of granting Kosovo independence or its association with neighboring states. Thirdly, Kosovo should insist on receiving international assistance for financing joint Serb-Albanian projects. Fourthly, the Albanians of Kosovo had to consent to participate in the forthcoming nationwide elections. Finally, the military units should be withdrawn from populated areas, whereas paramilitary units needed to be dissolved. Hence, as Greek experts maintained, it was possible to create a single legal body based on parity representation of Serbs and Albanians, whose chairman would be a neutral person enjoying the confidence of both sides.

According to the Greek draft, the agreed confidence measures should include provisions for the prohibition of propaganda and actions of separatism as well as the resumption of bilingual media activities. The Greek draft provided a positive framework for peace negotiations in Kosovo with the mediation of interested Balkan states, especially Greece; furthermore, its main provisions have remained relevant to this day. To some extent, these ideas were reflected in the summer of 1996 during the negotiations between Belgrade and the Kosovo Albanians, wherein the parties reached the Milosevic-Rugova agreement. It implied mutual recognition of power but never came into force (except for the resumption of educational programs in the Albanian language).

The actual stabilization of the situation in the Balkans would require serious and sustained efforts from many institutions and organizations, such as the UN, the OSCE, and the European Union. The most important motivation behind these efforts should be the economic reconstruction of Yugoslavia, large-scale assistance to neighboring states, and the integration of South-Eastern Europe into the common continental economic space. Owing to the Kosovo crisis, Russia found itself in a situation wherein several things can depend on its actions at the regional and the European level. Moscow has recently been in favor of a political solution to international problems rejecting the very possibility of using the forces. In these conditions, an important task of Russian policy and diplomacy is the development of realistic and concrete proposals for resolving the conflict. This applies not only to Yugoslavia and the Balkans as a whole but also to the status quo around North Korea, Iraq, and others. Russia, as a country not involved in the Kosovo crisis, has certain advantages that it can successfully use not only to raise its prestige but also to create a favorable international environment on the continent. Moreover, Kosovo’s critical state should force the Russian leadership to think about a strategy for settling conflicts in the post-Soviet space that have remained mothballed but pose a potential danger.

The Kosovo crisis is an issue that raises a question of the contours and principles of a new Europe. The escalation of the conflict to the scale it took in the spring of 1999 indicated the inability of the European states and their institutions to independently cope with the security challenges on the continent. This crisis is a threat to the European Union that claims a leading role not only in the economy but also in politics and in the long run in the field of security in the framework of expanding Europe. Therefore, the active and constructive role of the European Union in the Balkans would help shape Great Europe, while the passivity and inconsistency of the EU’s actions would narrow its prospects.

The recognition of Kosovo’s independence would mark the end of the system of international relations based on the acknowledgment of the inviolability of the sovereignty of nation-states. It presupposes the possibility of changing borders within Europe through violence and without the consent of the country which had sovereignty over a territory recorded by the international legal acts (Heller, 2014). Moreover, one could argue that the Kosovo precedent witnessed a rejection of the fundamentals of the sovereignty of the nation-state, and the transition to the rights based on the primacy of the principles of their faith and their values was backed by its strength.

The emergence of a new state in the Balkans is unlikely to significantly affect the geopolitical processes, although certain threats of possible destabilization of the region and Europe in the future are very real. After all, there is a question of the legitimacy of the International Steering Group of Kosovo, which should act as the international representative, because there is no UN Security Council decision on the status of Kosovo. According to the official representatives of Serbia, it shows that the activity of this group and its representative in Kosovo is illegal and, therefore, violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia.

The Lessons Learned from the Kosovo Experience

The performance of the NATO military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has brought the ethnopolitical conflict in Kosovo to a qualitatively new level. Actually, since the end of March 1999, the problem of settling the next crisis in the Balkans has no longer been limited to the situation in Kosovo and its international aspects. This is an acute international crisis on a regional scale, including the first full-scale war in Europe after 1945. This collapse has been also accountable for a humanitarian catastrophe that affected several Balkan countries as well as serious tension in relations between Russia and Western countries, primarily the United States.

Hence, the first lesson that one can learn from the Kosovo experience is the necessity to engage in new forms of political cooperation and interaction. The development of events within and around Kosovo spread a great concern among the leaders of the Balkan countries. In November 1997, a meeting of the heads of eight states and governments of South-Eastern Europe took place in Crete; during the conference, its participants even avoided calling their region the ‘Balkans’ as if they emphasized the rejection of the negative connotation of this term (Mandic, 2015). The composition of the participants confirmed the special purpose of the meeting in Crete. The disintegration of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and a series of conflicts in its former territory not only changed the map of the Balkan Peninsula but also had a most negative impact on the nature of interstate and interethnic relations in the region (Mandic, 2015). The multilateral cooperation of the Balkan states that appeared in the second half of the 1980s was interrupted since after overcoming the bloc confrontation in Europe, its main goals were exhausted (Heller, 2014). As a result of the collapse of the communist regimes, most of the Balkan states have chosen a pro-Western orientation taking a course toward joining NATO and the EU (Heller, 2014). This policy ultimately determined the new nature and structure of their interaction.

The second conclusion of the Kosovo conflict is the lack of support from other countries which results from the first lesson. Most of the Balkan countries not directly affected by the Kosovo conflict preferred to keep distance and, if possible, use bilateral diplomatic channels. However, the most critical moments forced them to join forces to prevent the spread of the crisis to other parts of the peninsula (Todorovski, Zevenbergen, & van der Molen, 2016). The position of the Balkan countries demonstrated their condemnation of both the illegal actions of the Serbian security forces and the terrorist activities (Todorovski, Zevenbergen, & van der Molen, 2016). The document stressed that the final solution to the Kosovo problem depends on the strict observance of the rights of Albanians, Serbs, and other ethnic groups (Todorovski, Zevenbergen, & van der Molen, 2016). The ministers repeatedly emphasized that the most important condition for preserving peace in the region was unconditional respect for the existing borders (Todorovski, Zevenbergen, & van der Molen, 2016). Also, another condition lies in the preservation of the borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the rejection of the separatist moods of the radical organizations of Kosovo that aimed to achieve the widest autonomous rights (Todorovski, Zevenbergen, & van der Molen, 2016).

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The third lesson concerns the numerous political consequences. The spontaneity of the demographic processes only indicated that there were no administrative actions on the part of the state that would mitigate growing disparities within the society of Kosovo and the whole country (Gray, 2012). The study of processes representing one of the unprecedented paradoxes of modern demographic development required the forecasting of their political and civilizational consequences (Gray, 2012). The clash of incompatible interests which emerged in Kosovo at the state level resulted in the political crisis in the international arena.

Another lesson is connected with the cultural consequences. Along with the physical seizure of the territory, Kosovo observed peculiar cultural segregation of the population (Popolo, 2011). It was material (the destruction of the Serbian heritage, including shrines, monasteries, churches, and cemeteries) and spiritual (the substitution of the Serbian literature, history, and traditions for the Albanian culture) (Popolo, 2011). A wave of demolition continued even after the organization of a protectorate over Kosovo: in the presence of the international troops, the representatives of the separatist Albanian movement vandalized about 154 Serbian shrines and other objects (Popolo, 2011). Destruction of the Serbian cultural heritage, ghettoization and segregation of the population by ethnicity became an indisputable fact (Popolo, 2011). The consequences of opposing ethnic and demographic processes ultimately contributed to the political changes and amounted to a complete conquest by the Albanian ethnos of the territory of Kosovo. Also, the redistribution of property (apartments, houses, land) was necessary because of their seizure or ransom from Serbs and Montenegrins.

The future of Kosovo turned out to be very unpredictable. The small Serbian and other non-Albanian residents subjected to persecution and assimilation had been brought together within the ethnic islands of ?? the Albanian population (Popolo, 2011). It now defends not only its national, cultural, and religious identity but also its physical borders of existence (Mello, 2015). The policy of ethnic and religious discrimination conducted by Kosovo Albanians with a greater number of people belonging to other smaller ethnic communities interrupted their mutual cultural communication for a long time.

The proclamation of Kosovo’s independence provoked a split in the EU that did not unanimously recognize the new state. Probably, the difficulties that intensify other financial and military issues require substantial EU assistance to solve the problems of corruption, drug trafficking, and crime that exist in the Kosovo -European community (Mello, 2015). Also, there is some doubt that the leaders of the unrecognized republics are interested in the rapid resolution of the existing conflicts. Some politicians are inclined to think that the local political elite may deliberately maintain an everlasting state of unresolved conflict because it enables them to gain some primarily economic dividends.


The first military and, in particular, the political outcome of NATO’s military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is very ambiguous. Moreover, the objective limitations of military-force methods as a means of solving complex political, socio-economic, ethnic, religious, and other confrontations that constitute the nature of modern regional conflicts predetermine its low effectiveness in making the peace processes irreversible. Once, the world community and the authorities of Yugoslavia would have to return to the negotiating process and resume the search for peaceful ways of settling the ethnopolitical conflict in Kosovo.

The most important dimension of the Kosovo crisis is the tension in relations between Russia and the US that has become extremely acute. The deep cause of this crisis is neither the Kosovo conflict nor the NATO operation in Yugoslavia, but the inability and partly unwillingness of the political elites of both countries to develop a realistic formula for the improvement of relations after the end of the Сold War.

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