Serbians Make New Government Responsible for Karadzic's Arrest: Experts

Politics Materials 31 July 2008 19:12 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 31 July / Trend corr. E.Tarverdiyeva/ Serbian people makes country's new government completely responsible for giving up Radovan Karadzic, Bosnian Serbs' former leader, to the Hague Tribunal. The new government excuses that by integration with EU.

"Karadzic's arrest is unquestionably a function of the newly formed government feeling it has the means, mandate and desire to carry this out -- and of course pressure from the EU to comply with the terms for implementing the SAA," American expert on Serbia Timothy William Waters said to Trend .

Extradition of Radovan Karadzic, who is accused of genocide of Bosnian Muslims and bombardment of Sarajevo's civilians, from Serbia to the Hague last Wednesday resulted in a demonstration wave by the population. Serbian radical party, Serbian Democratic Party, country's ex-premier Vojislav Koštunica, the New Serbia Party and a range of right-radical movements organized an action named 'All-Serbian assembly against treacherous and dictatorial regime of Boris Tadic'.

According to British expert on Balkans, professor at the Aberdeen University, David Galbreath, practically, NATO, and in particular the Pentagon, has been unwilling to go to difficult lengths to find him. "Thus, the onus of capture was put on the Serb government by the EU as a pre-requisite for further regional integration," he said to Trend via e-mail on 31 July.

According to experts, the choice of the pro-European government, which can do a lot for integration with EU, is the choice of most Serbians.

American expert on Eastern Europe Gregory Mounier believes a majority of Serbs just want the government to modernize the country's economy, take care of people's problems such as high unemployment and weak purchase power and join the EU as fast as possible. And President Tadic's pro-European coalition is doing just that.

President of the National Strategy Institute Mikhail Remizov believes possibly Tadic knew that he was risking when giving up Karadzic for the sake of a ticket to EU, since he is confident Serbia has no future without that. "Serbs understand that Tadic's decision is a result of presidential elections. It were Serbians to prefer pro-European course," Russian political scientist Remizov said to Trend .

According to Remizov, Karadzic's arrest may lead Serbia to a crisis, a victim of which will be the very Tadic. "I cannot foretell the time but I am sure Tadic will not be excused for that at next elections," he said.

Remizov said geographically Serbia has no other choice but to join EU. However, no country has ever had so many humiliating conditions for entering like Serbia has.

"The population trying to avoid responsibility will make Tadic responsible for this humiliation," said Remizov.

According to political scientist, Serbs are really concerned about the terms of such desired integration with EU.

Galbreath said Serbian politics has walked a fine line between acknowledging any culpability in the Yugoslav wars and feeling aggrieved by the international community's failure to see Serbia as a victim. "Karadzic represents this latter feeling, seen as being a protector of Serb rights in what became BiH. Legally, the international community has been consistent over claims that Karadzic committed war crimes," he said.

"After the independence of Kosovo - still being conceived as a part of Serbian identity - which was supported by the majority of EU member states, there is a light mistrust in the Serbian population towards the EU, i.e. there is a great fear among the majority of Serbs that the EU would change Serbia's national identity," Practitioner at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy Arnold Kammel said to Trend via e-mail on 31 July.

Experts say the way out of the situation in the country is to solve the EU issue.

According to UN political expert Daniel-Alexander Schroth, a deeper internal crisis in Serbia can be avoided if the international community, in particular the EU, continues to support the accession aspirations of the Tadic Government, possibly by granting Serbia rather sooner than later candidate status.

"The crucial question will then be how the EU will play the Kosovo issue and how far they are willing to accommodate the Serbian position," Schroth said to Trend via e-mail on 31 July.

"The big pre-requisites have nearly been completed: Milosevic, Kosovo and Karadzic. Only Mladic remains. The big questions will then be answered. Does the EU have enough political integrity to hold to its promise of further integration and even membership? That is the question," said Galbreath.

According to Mounier, Karadic's arrest, although it will be difficult to swallow for the remaining Serb nationalists, will in fact improve the political situation in Serbia because the International Community will be more friendly and sympathetic towards Serbia. "Citizens will soon see the positive consequences of Serbia's new position in Europe and in the World and this will most probably set Serbia on a very positive trail," Research Student at the University of Reading said to Trend via e-mail n 31 July.

"Serbia now seems to be back on the track towards its European integration, nevertheless many issues such as the arrest of General Mladic or the future relationship to Kosovo, need to be resolved," Kammel said.

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