The German government said that Kosovo remains high on the European
Union's list of foreign policy problems, and that settling Kosovo's
"final status" was essential to long term Balkan stability. A UN review of
Kosovo's status will be presented after Serbia's elections on January 21, 2007.
All of the diplomatic "body language" suggests the EU will recommend Kosovar
independence - but perhaps an independence with limitations. What that might
entail politically and organizationally remains undecided. There is also talk
of "autonomy" within a "democratic Serbia." NATO, which at one time had
considered troop cuts, now indicates it will maintain its current troop levels
in Kosovo. There are approximately 16,500 NATO troops in Kosovo.
is reportedly considering appointing a Turkish Army general as a deputy
secretary of defense. The reason? The Azeris want to upgrade their military to
a "NATO standard." This won't please the Azeris chief enemy, Armenia. The
Azerbaijan report included a reminder that Lithuania had hired a former US Army
colonel as its chief of staff, in order to upgrade its forces to "NATO
10, 2007: In Bosnia, Moslems from Sweden, Turkey and Bosnia were convicted
of planning suicide bomb attacks in Bosnia and elsewhere in Europe.
8, 2007: Macedonia said its police had seized a shipment of 880 pounds of
cocaine on the Serbia-Macedonia border. The Macedonian report said that the
shipment crossed the Adriatic from Bari, Italy, to Montenegro (the Montenegrin
port of Bar). It was then trucked through Serbia. The cocaine was supposed to
be delivered to buyers in Greece. This looks like an international police
effort, involving several European police agencies, and is precisely the kind
of anti-smuggling operation the US and EU have been encouraging in the Balkans.
In light of the Serb seizure of heroin (January 4) it looks like Macedonia and
Serbia are both taking the anti-drug smuggling initiatives seriously.
4, 2007: Montenegro announced that it had "credentialed" its ambassador to
Serbia. Montenegro formally separated from Serbia-Montenegro in 2006.
reported that its police and border security personnel had seized over 50
pounds of heroin in two busts at the end of December 2006 and in early January
2007. The heroin was seized at the Serbia-Croatia border.