Balkans specialist hans stark quoted by Portuguese press: a greater Albania is a strong threat to the region

Hans Stark is a specialist in Balkans Affairs, working for the French Institute of International Relations. While not a new concept, the notion of Greater Albania is, according to him, a threat to the region. Remembering that Greater Albania never existed per se, Hans Stark points out that this territory existed as a unit during the Ottoman Empire. The powers which constituted the present frontiers of Yugoslavia divided this unit between three states (Albania, Macedonia and Serbia) a situation which some now want to reverse. Hans Stark says that the Kosovars are not satisfied with their status of autonomy and want full independence. With one eye placed on the situation in Montenegro, the Kosovars wait for their chance. The consequences of an explosion of Yugoslavia would be serious for Macedonia, according to Professor Stark. However, he points out that in Macedonia, there was no history of repression against the Albanians. Nevertheless, it can be assumed from his words that an independence of Kosovo would seriously destabilise Skopje, hence the current international policy of trying to keep Yugoslavia together. Bulgaria meanwhile pledges support for Macedonia and confirms donations of munitions, engineering equipment and spares, although armoured vehicles are not included in the aid package, according to Bulgarian Defence Minister, Boiko Noev. The International Community, and this includes all countries which assume their responsibilities on an international scale, cannot, and must not, leave Macedonia to the Albanians. A firm position must be taken now before it is too late. NATO cannot be trusted because they are afraid of losing soldiers. With nothing to bomb, they are a hopelessly pathetic excuse for outdated notions of imperialism. Where the League of Nations interfered at the beginning of last century, NATO follows today. The results are disastrous. NATO is responsible for the situation in the Balkans and we will continue to call their attention to the matter until they assume their responsibilities to solve the problem they created. If they are incapable, then someone else has to help Macedonia and the Macedonians, who are innocent bystanders as a climate of madness descends around them.

TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON