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21 April 201715:49

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the Greater Albania threat to stability in the Balkans

818-21-04-2017

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A series of recent statements by various Albanian politicians regarding the redrawing of borders in the Balkans have raised particular concern. We assert that, under the guise of unfounded accusations of attempts to destabilize southeastern Europe aimed at Russia, efforts are being made to implement the Greater Albania project, now based on the Albanian constitution, which gives Tirana the right to defend the interests of Albanians abroad. Under the guise of hypocritical talk about the need to stabilise the region under the NATO umbrella, the very foundations of stability are being shaken; a new policy course has been adopted to redraw the borders in the Balkans, which will inevitably increase the conflict potential.

Such is the context for the statements by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and the “head” of the self-proclaimed independent Kosovo Hashim Thaсi on their readiness to join forces in a single Greater Albania state. These statements were echoed by Jonuz Musliu, the head of the south Serbian municipality of Presevo Valley, mainly populated by Albanians, who announced the region’s will to become part of the enlarged state. Part of the same context is the notorious Tirana Platform adopted by the ethnic Albanian parties in Macedonia and undermining its statehood.

Indicatively, the main patrons of Tirana and Pristina – the United States and the EU – either remain timidly silent or issue common meaningless phrases. We cannot help but agree with the assessments of the events voiced by Serbian Prime Minister, President-elect Aleksandar Vucic and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, who resolutely condemned Albanian politicians’ rhetoric and demanded an adequate response to what is happening from Brussels, Washington and key European countries. The bitter irony is that, as Mr Vucic noted, if he allowed himself to publicly suggest uniting Serbia with Republika Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina), he would “hang from a flagpole” in Brussels.

We think it necessary for the international community to jointly point out to Tirana and Albanian politicians in other Balkan countries that making territorial claims and speculating about redrawing borders is unacceptable. We call on our Western partners to abide by international law and common sense, but refrain from applying double standards as they sometimes tend to do.

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