Nina Dyulgerova: Extrapolation of the Kosovo precedent is inevitable

TransnistriaWill dependence-seeking Kosovo set a precedent for other conflicts elsewhere? The answer is yes, if Kosovo becomes independent. In that case, "extrapolation is inevitable" says Bulgarian Professor of History Nina Dyulgerova.

VARNA (Focus / Tiraspol Times) - Nina Dyulgerova, one of Bulgaria's leading History Professors, says that if Kosovo becomes independent then extrapolation is inevitable. Other "frozen conflicts" involving the unrecognized republics of Transdniestria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno Karabakh will be next in line for independence.

If independence is granted to Kosovo, this will affect the rest of the Balkans and also countries in the post-Soviet area. Here, history Professor Nina Dyulgerova comments on this issue.

A highly sought-after expert on Russian affairs, Professor of History Nina Dyulgerova gave a lecture on 7 November 2007 entitled "Russia and the Black Sea Region in the 21st Century" at Loyola University in New Orleans. Dyulgerova spoke about the future prospects of the Baltic Sea Region, and Russia’s past and present interest in this great strategic and economic importance region and the prospects for future Russian involvement there.

Dyulgerova is director of the program in International Relations at the Free University (Chernorizets Hrabar University) of Varna in Bulgaria and head of the History Section of the Union of Scientists in Bulgaria. An expert on the Balkans and international relations in Eastern Europe, she has authored two books and some 50 articles on the diplomatic history of the Balkans, Russia, Caucasus, and Eastern Europe in general.

Can we draw parallels between the situation in the Western Balkans and some of the unacknowledged states in the post-Soviet area?

" - Speaking about the situation in the Western Balkans, we cannot fail to draw a parallel to the events that take place in the post-Soviet area, and especially to the “frozen conflict” phenomenon, also known as the so-called “unrecognized countries”. These are the states of Trans-Dniester in Moldova, South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh, which can be considered part of them, but it is some extraordinary case and, in general, we do not automatically add it to the first three.

Until now, Kosovo and its future is the pressing problem which is taking up the whole political and diplomatic energy of the EU, the Balkan countries, Russia and the USA.

The Kosovo issue became really pressing over the last months. There were several attempts to solve the issue at the Security Council with the plan of Martti Ahtisaari, and then it was shifted in the frames of the diplomatic format of the Contact Group, where Russia showed another active support to Serbia. The Contact Group, chaired by German Wolfgang Ischinger, in fact tried to solve some really complex issue, which aimed at mutual consent on opinions, which were mutually incompatible. On the one hand, we have Kosovo’s position, fighting for independence, strongly supported by the USA. It says that Kosovo’s independence will be probably acknowledged on December 10th. This is a highly controversial stand, joining different opinions in the EU, which not all member states approve.
On the on the hand, there is Serbia, supported by Russia, and also by China, regarding the connection with the Security Council. They are explicit on the point that Kosovo’s stats must remain unchanged.

If at present this process is a matter of Balkan countries’ concern, taking into account the geopolitical and strategic plan, it also affects the post-Soviet area.

Since 2003, experts and political figures form different countries have come up with different stands on the issue, which connect Kosovo’s issue to the situation in Moldova, Georgia, and the argument between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The dominant opinion is that this will cause a “domino principle”: if Kosovo acknowledges its independence, the so-called “frozen conflict” will also head towards some more active process for acknowledgement of their state status.

Furthermore, formally each of the four units have all features of a state system: elections, different kinds of power: president, parliament, local authorities, and etc. In this case we can speak about processes where the extrapolation is inevitable.

Speaking about Western Balkans, I read an interesting article by Ulrich Beck published in 2005, where he develops a highly interesting thesis, and thus I am inclined to believe that: world processes are so dynamic that we can speak about some accumulation of Asian and European problems. Continents, and their societies and processes, start to gradate. Thus, what we witness in the Western Balkans may proceed to the European part of the post-Soviet area, in South Ossetia. Now we may speak about the so-called processes in Eurasia, where territory and latitude lose their initial meaning, as these processes are getting identical. Processes will have to be considered in a similar manner, disregarding the details and the different geopolitical parameters."

Is Kosovo the key generator of instability in the Balkans? What is your personal opinion about what is going on in Macedonia over the last months – the Tanusevci issue, for instance?



Publish Date: 

Monday, 17 December 2007