Kosovo. According to CountryAAH, Pristina is the capital city of Kosovo. UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari presented his plan for Kosovo’s future status in February. According to the plan, Kosovo would gain “supervised independence” with continued international presence and strong protection for the Serbian and Roma minorities. The Kosovo Albanian majority welcomed the plan and the parliament in Priština approved it by an overwhelming margin. But the Serbs were strongly critical and the Serbian parliament in Belgrade voted against the plan. The province was still formally part of Serbia, but in reality a UN protectorate.
Ahtisaari formally handed over the issue of Kosovo’s future status to the UN Security Council at the end of March. The United States and Britain expressed support for Ahtisaari’s plan, while Russia was sharply critical. Serbian President Boris Tadić said that independence for Kosovo was unthinkable. Negotiations continued under the auspices of the UN, from the summer through a mediator troop of diplomats from the EU, the US and Russia. A final date was set for December 10, but it was already clear in advance that the conditions for a settlement were lacking. The Albanians adhered to the demand for independence and said in the autumn that they intended to proclaim their own state shortly. The Serbs, willing to approve far-reaching self-government, warned that unilaterally proclaimed independence would cause instability throughout the Balkans.
In November, parliamentary and municipal elections were held in Kosovo. The Serbian minority boycotted the elections in order not to give legitimacy to a government that was expected to proclaim independence. The biggest was the Kosovo Democratic Party (PDK) with former guerrilla commander Hashim Thaçi as leader. The formerly dominant Kosovo Democratic Alliance (LDK) came in second place.
The trial of Kosovo’s former prime minister Ramush Haradinaj began in March at the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague. Haradinaj, who was the commander of the then Kosovo Albanian guerrilla UCK in the late 1990s, and two others were indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Haradinaj had resigned two years earlier and voluntarily surrendered to the court.