Brexit could have ‘prophetic’ effects on Balkan’s future borders

As Brexit takes shape, new fears of fresh trouble in the Balkans are expressed as a possible referendum on Kosovo’s unification with Albania takes place.

Fears are expressed by the former head of Serbia’s Military-Security Agency (VBA) Momir Stojanovic who has told Russia’s Sputnik broadcaster that following the recent referendum in Republica Serbska, Albanians in Kosovo are being encouraged by ‘someone’ to talk of a possible referendum of Albanian unification, as a form of pressure against Belgrade and Banja Luka.

Stojanovic’s comments come after Kosovo’s PDK MP Nait Hasani said publicly that Kosovo should exercise its constitutional right to approve a bill which would give them the right to organise a national referendum for unification with Albania, adding at the same time that his Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), formerly led by Kosovo’s present President Hashim Thaci, should work to prepare the ground for such legislation.

Serbia’s Stojanovic has said in return that Kosovo’s leaders are being encouraged by the US and EU to step up pressure on Serbia because of the recent September 25th referendum on Republika Srpska’s national day which is heralding a vote on independence from Bosnia.

The former VBA chief also thinks that if a referendum on Kosovo’s unification with Albania were to go ahead, Serbia would be able to do “next to nothing” considering that it would have “no legal mechanisms” at its disposal.

The moves come several months after Kosovo’s new President and former KLA guerrilla chief Hashim Thaci had suggested that Europe’s political union might not survive a Brexit vote, echoing concerns across the continent that the UK withdrawal from the EU would produce a ‘domino effect’ that could see other member states also quitting the bloc, amid a rising tide of anti-Brussels feeling within Europe.

Kosovo’s new President, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, warned in March that the possible collapse of the EU could have dire consequences for the Balkans region.

Both Serbia and Albania are candidate countries for EU membership and Kosovo is hoping to join the club’s integration path in the near future. If the EU closes the door for further enlargement, several analysts fear that the region’s old ethnic tensions might be awaken to spark fresh conflicts.

All Serbian claims of a ‘greater Albania’ are categorically rejected by all Albania’s political class, dismissing it as outright nonsense which does not have any real support across Albania’s electoral map, a country which does not count any nationalistic political parties. If a referendum on unification takes place in Kosovo, this would put Albania in a tough position, forcing its leaders to have a say on the future of the region’s borders.

Copyright 2016 TiranaEcho.Com

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