The observation of Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica that "I get the feeling that Kosovo lies in Slovakia" put the seal on parliament's Kosovo declaration. The Smer, SNS, HZDS, SDKÚ and KDH parties can now frame their creation and use it to decorate their party headquarters. It has no other use. The text does not appeal to decision-makers in Europe and the USA, or even to respondents in polls done by the ÚVVM, Focus and MVK agencies.
Neither the Slovak parliament nor the government will decide the status of Kosovo - that is the job of the UN Security Council. With all respect due to its status as a non-permanent member of the council, Slovakia cannot influence, but rather only complicate, the course of events if it supports a veto by Russia. Neither Kubiš nor Fico plan to do this, and the foreign minister even let it be known in Belgrade that "Slovakia must be careful not to become isolated".
If the declaration had even a gram more weight than the paper it is written on, Fico would already be shuttling between London, Berlin and Washington to find out their opinion, for instance on whether "complete and unfettered independence for the province of Kosovo is not in the interests of stability (...)".
A ridiculous notion? Of course. Kubiš already said before the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee in February, when Ahtisaari's plan was still being "welcomed", that matters were settled. Everyone knows this, except for our domestic lovers of the Adriatic. The question of the chairman of the SDKÚ is key: "Who better than Slovakia should understand the problems of Serbia?" The answer - anyone who hasn't already disqualified himself as a judge by glowing with bias and subjective feelings; anyone who is not bound by the call of blood-ties, family bonds (to "our Serbian brothers"), historical reminiscences or personal phobias ("a precedent"), and who does not have the cool reason and will to solve the conflict.
This is not to say that Ahtisaari's plan is without its flaws, and that Slovakia cannot "see things in another light" - merely that the Kosovo declaration is a belated expression of devious and provincial politics that is closer to "a change in course on foreign policy" (Kukan) than any visit by Fico to the Cuban embassy.
Sme, March 30
9. Apr 2007 at 0:00 | Peter Schutz