For full two years, Vuk Jeremić, who graduated in physics, spent tons of jet fuel and millions of dollars to make sure that the Serbian initiative to present its case before the International Court of Justice in Hague is approved by the UN General Assembly. After the vote in the UN, Jeremić announced: Today’s result, this vote, is not only a victory for Serbia, but also a victory of international law and justice in international relations. We believe that our legal arguments will win, but the most important fact is that we succeeded in transferring the issue of the future status of our southern province from the political to the legal arena. Because our best chances lay in the legal arena. Serbia is a member of the UN, it will appear before the International Court of Justice with its own analysis. On the other hand, Kosovo cannot do this, because it is not a member of the UN”.
After the opinion of ICJ was publicly announced, our political elite opted for the old mechanism of denial of reality. And, once again, everyone takes their part: Tadic, Jeremic, the Patriarch (although the Special Prayer turned into a fiasco), Bataković, Radicals and Radicals lite, Djelić, Suzana Grubješić, Slobodan Samardžić and the members of the expert team. We are now only waiting for Dr Koštunica.
And, although Serbia needed some quiet contemplation after the ICJ decision was announced, thanks to Vuk Jeremić, we found out that, what according to him was a historically important decision until yesterday – as of today means absolutely nothing to us: a nonbinding decision – an advice – a wrongly asked-answered question.
Apparently, we are immune to reality, it does not pertain to us. As we all know now, Vuk Jeremic, Tadic and his staff are starting a new fight, a new battle – a battle for Kosovo, which will not take place on the Kosovo Field, but instead, once again, in the UN General Assembly. Jeremić will be the Kosovo Maiden, Tadić will play the role of Prince Lazar, and the roles of Vuk Branković and the unfortunate Murat are yet to be cast.
At the same time, the international press (especially European) writes about the end of the Kosovo Saga. Several dozen countries will be recognizing Kosovo by the end of the year. The five EU member states which have not yet recognized Kosovo are expected to acknowledge the independence of our former colony within a year.
And what is the position of the Republic of Serbia? One thing is clear. Insisting on new negotiations with the help of the UN will only further alienate Serbia from our partners in the EU and the world. Even if Serbia manages to secure new negotiations, these negotiations can be only technical – dealing with everyday issues, but not with the status or division of Kosovo or Bosnia.
After the ICJ opinion was announced, the European Union once again prepared a new set of opportunities for Serbia. In brief, the EU is offering Serbia a joint effort to find a new modality of relations with Kosovo. Even the possibility of a new UN resolution, which would be drafted by the EU and Serbia together, is mentioned. In this way, Serbia would solve two (out of three – Ratko Mladic remains) of its biggest domestic and foreign policy problems: Kosovo and its prospects for EU membership.
We are now waiting for Boris Tadić and his team.
There are actually two possibilities. The first one is to recognize that this is the end to the collective torment of us – citizens of Serbia, as well as of the citizens of Kosovo, of the region and of the entire EU. If Tadić and his crew choose the first option, there is a big chance that we might escape, in the not so distant future, the barbaric state we have been living in for the last twenty years. However, door number two leads to an entirely different outcome for Serbia. This second option comes down to self-isolation of Serbia and postponing of its candidacy for EU membership for at least another year. The hand that the EU is extending to Serbia represents the last chance in the following five to ten years for our country to begin the process of its own normalization.
One thing should be clear: the EU (as always) does not expect too much from us. It expects reasonable behavior of Serbia in the light of the new situation. The EU will grant Serbia another ten years of patience regarding the recognition of Kosovo. For the time being, only minimal cooperation is expected (using the principle: we will reach some kind of agreement).
If this chance is thrown away, it is to be expected that for my generation Serbia will remain a forever lost country, immersed in its own mythology. This is also the last chance Boris Tadić has to historically survive his presidency. If he opts for the isolation of the country and total blocking of all prospects for the entire society, Tadic risks going down in history as a total looser, similar to his predecessors Milošević and Koštunica.
And, the favorite pastime of Belgrade social circles: gossip. Two days ago, the author of this text has heard from an interesting source that the days of the mad physicist Vuk Jeremić and his playing with fire have been numbered. People are saying that by the end of the year he will finally be removed from the position of minister and appointed ambassador to Moscow (an ideal place for an ideal man – he can go on to meet Mira Marković and together, they can write a textbook for future diplomats). And although this is the fifth or sixth time that I am hearing the same theory about Jeremić being deposed, I cannot resist saying the following: Jeremić’s disability retirement to Moscow would be a good starting point for assessing the mental state of the Serbian President. If he sends Jeremić to Putin (with the promise that he will not visit Serbia more than once a year – for the DSS Patron Saint’s Day), Tadic risks showing the world and all of us that there is still some common sense left in Andrićev venac. However, this is Serbia, the country where crazy mushrooms like Vuk Jeremic grow and thrive best.
Translated by Bojana Obradović