The Albanian factor and its influence in the Balkans

On August 13, 2001, the Ohrid Agreement was signed, ending the armed conflicts between Macedonians and Albanians in North Macedonia. From that moment on, the country is constantly in a political crisis regularly caused by the so-called Albanian factor in this country. But North Macedonia is not the only country facing these problems. The influence of this factor is also significantly present in Montenegro, Serbia and its Autonomous Province – Kosovo, which has been under Albanian occupation since 1999.

The Albanian factor and its influence in the Balkans

Albania, a state formed in 1912 has ever since been insisting on spreading its borders further thus creating the so-called “Greater Albania” or “Natural Albania”, which in addition to the territory occupied in 1912 also has claims to the territory of Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Greece, countries in which Albanian communities live.

Since the appearance of the so-called “Prizren League” in 1878, and later Albania in 1912, the country has had aspirations towards the territory of Serbia. The agreement on the borders signed between the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Albania in 1928, obviously didn’t mean anything to the Albanian separatists, since they continued with their separatist plans. In 1942, the “Second League of Prizren” and “Hanjar Division” were formed, both of which became allies to German Nazis during WWII. After the war, from 1945 to 1974, Albanians from Albania started emigrating en masse to Kosovo and slowly pushing away and expelling Kosovo Serbs from that territory. Later on, an autonomy was given to Kosovo Albanians granted by the 1974 Yugoslav Constitution, which apparently wasn’t good enough to them as they continued rebelling. Albanians organized protests in 1981 demanding Republic instead of autonomy.

After a short truce, the Albanian irredentists in Kosovo began to cause chaos there again in 1987, the year when the disintegration of the SFRY formally began. After the wars in Bosnia and Croatia ended in 1997, the United States re-launched the “Albanian factor” in Kosovo by supporting the so-called “Kosovo Liberation Army”. “KLA” had training camps in the north of Albania near the Serbian border, from where they occasionally jumped over to the Serbian territory and carried out terrorist activities. During 1998, this terrorist organization started an open conflict with the security forces of Serbia and the then FRY. The United States, embodied in the then high-ranking official Richard Holbrooke, supported “KLA’s” armed rebellion against the Serbian government. Holbrooke’s predecessor Robert Gelbard, however, previously labelled the KLA “without any questions, a terrorist group”.

Serbian security forces overpowered Albanian militant groups, but the USA and NATO started an air aggression on the FRY, which resulted in the presence of American and NATO forces in Kosovo and the loss of Serbia’s sovereignty over this province. Immediately after the end of the aggression, terrorist actions began in the Serbian southern municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, which do not administratively belong to Kosovo, with the intention of annexing these municipalities with an Albanian majority to Kosovo and later to Albania. Meanwhile, Kosovo Albanians declared Kosovo’s independence in 2008 and were immediately recognized by the United States and most Western countries. After declaring independence, the border with Albania was abolished and the process of informal unification has begun. Although the conflicts in the so-called “Presevo Valley” were stopped in 2001, the Albanian factor does not rest there – there is a noticeable mass purchase of real estate by Albanians in the territory of southeastern Serbia which is considered by them to be a part of the “natural Albania”.

There were no armed conflicts in Montenegro, but the former government of this country was completely influenced by the Albanian factor. Every single Montenegrin government was formed with Albanian participation. Montenegro’s independence in a referendum on May 21, 2006, was voted mostly thanks to Albanian votes. Immediately after the referendum, a small town Tuzi predominantly inhabited by Albanians was given the status of a municipality. The state of Montenegro essentially has no authority over the municipalities of Tuzi and Ulcinj, where the Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama regularly comes without notifying the Montenegrin authorities, nor are the Montenegrin police allowed to intervene in those territories. And now that Milo Djukanovic’s regime has finally fallen, the formation of a new government is already in question precisely because of the Albanian influence – Albanians who have only 4 mandates, without which the majority in parliament cannot be formed, are asking for the most important ministries.

Immediately after Kosovo, North Macedonia fell victim to the Greater Albania project. After the armistice in 2001, the Albanian factor began to take over all the levers of power in this country. Under their influence, Macedonia recognized Kosovo in 2008, and in 2017, the Macedonian opposition consisting of a few political parties united with Macedonian Albanian parties, overthrew the regular government after a series of protests, which resulted in President Nikola Gruevski leaving the country. So far, Greece is the only country that has no visible problems for the time being, although Greek minority in Albania does have occasional problems.

The increased tensions between the Albanian government and the ethnic Greek minority are especially evident in areas of cultural and educational policies, as they impact on education in the Greek language. Same goes for the Serbian minority in Albania. Albanians and the Albanian communities living in the neighboring Balkan countries have been obsessively dreaming one and the same dream for already over a century – to live united in one state, a “natural” and “greater” one as they call it, and this has been exploited by the USA for the past 30 years which resulted in the destabilization of the region for the purpose of, we can assume, taking the control over it. Through the eyes of Albanians this exploitation is seen as a support, a help, for which the leaders of the American Democrats are celebrated in Kosovo; Pristina’s main street is named after Bill Clinton, with statue of him in it, as well as Madeleine Albright’s. Thanks to the United States, the compulsive dreams of Greater Albania in the Balkans are slowly coming true. For the past 100 years, every Albanian attempt to destabilize the Balkans ended in failure. However, this is not the case today thanks to the USA. Kosovo is virtually independent, without a border with Albania, and Serbia has limited sovereignty over the “Presevo Valley”. North Macedonia has no control over the west of the country and Macedonians are slowly becoming a minority in their own country. Montenegro has only formal control over Malesija and Tuzi, and the new government formation literally depends on Albanians.

Comments:

comments powered by HyperComments