Russia Studying Kosovo Serb Requests for Russian Citizenship

Cry for help.

With the recent plans of the Serbian government to accept Albanian customs officers on the line between Kosovo and the rest of Serbia, Kosovo Serbs have realized that they are doomed and will have to either leave their ancestral lands or accept daily terrorism of the human organs-trading Thaci and his government. Both their own government and EU/US “human rights” organizations have abandoned them. Even sympathetic governments in Romania and Slovakia won’t do anything that could make US and Germany angry. The only help if any can come from Russia.

Precedents

Russia has in the past granted Russian citizenship to ethnic Russians living in the former soviet republics to increase its influence in those republics and defend its interests. For example in Crimea, it used this strategy to convince Ukrainians that they should not try to evict Russian fleet from Crimea’s deep see ports. In South Ossetia, Russia qualified Georgian attack as an attack against its own citizens and a reason to intervene.

Impact on Europe

The impact on Europe could potentially be very significant. The question is what Russia would do if its (Serbian) citizens came under attack as they inevitably will. Compared to its “Near Abroad”, Kosovo and Serbia are surrounded by countries that follow US orders and therefore a direct military help is implausible.

It seems that Russian government itself is unsure what granting Russian citizenship would mean for it and therefore is “studying the applications” according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Opportunity for Russia

While Russia will not get involved militarily, it could use the Kosovo Serb citizenships to increase its diplomatic and humanitarian involvement and prevent US and EU from consolidating their gains in Balkans and Serbia. It could essentially freeze the conflict and get a lever on those in EU that for the lack of other challeges feel like medling in Russia’s periphery.

Threat to pro-US/EU Serbian elites

Serbian citizens have grudgingly accepted that they lost the war and Kosovo and they cannot do anything about it and largely stopped supporting pro-Kosovo parties. If Russia stops Serb loses in Kosovo, Serbs may think that Kosovo (or at last the northern part of it) is not necessarily lost and elect pro-Kosovo parties like Kostunica’s DS. Those parties could be more forceful in defending Kosovo Serbs and make Germany and US positions in Kosovo painful. The standoff could also impact other countries in the region.

Russia could build it position awaiting a possible EU and US economic (and maybe also political) breakdown.

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