James says:

The secession of Kosovo is really the forcible removal from Serbia of Russia, and even more importantly Russianness, the ill for which Europe has never found the proper cure, and against which even all attempted counterpoisons have sickeningly failed.

I am writing my next column on Kosovo, so I will hold off on commenting on the separation at too much length, but I would submit to my learned colleague that this makes absolutely no sense, even when taken metaphorically.  Serbia does not suffer from a surfeit of “Russianness,” and even if it did the attempted hiving off of medieval Serbian identity would have nothing to do with it.  As I’m sure James also appreciates, the Serbo-Russian diplomatic and political link is a very modern one and a product of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.  The dissolution of Yugoslavia (and now the attempted partition of Serbia) has reinvigorated and reinforced that link.  It may, but shouldn’t, surprise us to find that Kosovo’s separation will push Serbia even more into Russia’s orbit.  If the “Europeanisation” of Serbia were the goal of supporting Kosovo’s independence, it would not work.  But then I don’t really agree that the Russians aren’t European, so make of that what you will. 

A related point to ponder: the Latin occupation of Constantinople did not make the Byzantines more pro-Latin.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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