Just when you thought the Balkans was settling down to become a nice stable corner of Mittel-Europa, think again. It's bored with being boring and is starting to get interesting again. And as always with the Balkans, what happens there can have huge effects for the rest of Europe
It will start in Kosovo - the 90% Albanian province which is due to declare independence any day now and will be recognised by the EU and the US. This will royally piss off the Serbs and their big brothers in Russia.
It will have major ramifications for Bosnia. Decision making in Bosnia is totally paralysed because agreement is needed between all the ethnic groups and the Serbs drag their heels. Recent proposals by Slovak diplomat Miroslav Lajcak to break the logjam has led to the worst political turmoil in Bosnia since the end of the 1992-95 war. And the Bosnian Serbs are saying they want out.
It's hard to argue with their logic. If it's okay for the Kosovar Albanians to secede, why can't the Republika Bosna Srpska?
However, this is where those bloody-minded Russians clamber up on stage. They are talking about taking this logic one step further. If the Kosovars jump ship from the Good Ship (ahem!) Serbia, the Russians are threatening to recognise their little statelets that they've carved out here and there:
- Trans-Dniestr Republic from Moldova
- Abkhazia from Georgia
- South Ossetia (also from Georgia)
...... not to mention Nagorno Karabakh which the Armenians seized from Azerbaijan in the early 90s.
Watch this space.