Eight years after the international community’s military intervention and Kosovo remains at the crossroads. The UN is still in control and a 16,000 strong force keeps the peace. NATO commander Lieutenant General Roland Kather believes the West and Russia must overcome their differences on Kosovo’s final status: “The people are waiting for a decision, (and) of course there is an increased nervousness because everybody knows were are on the finals (sic) and of course again we are making prudent planning to be prepared for everything that might come up.”
Talks of one kind or another on Kosovo’s future have been on the agenda for years. While opinions vary on the world stage the two constants are the Albanians insistence on independence and the Serbs equally firm demand to remain part of Serbia. They have a powerful ally in Vladimir Putin. The Russian President has own reasons for not wanting to see another part of former communist Europe turning to the West.