"Kosovo messy affair, run by criminals"
Former Dutch State Secretary for European Affairs Frans Timmermans warned the U.S. in late 2007 that Kosovo was "run by people who live off crime".Source: Tanjug
This has emerged in a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by the Wikileaks whistleblowing website.
"Timmermans was concerned about the future implications of the EU's outreach to Kosovo: Kosovo is run by people who live off crime...(they have) no other means to support themselves," Timmermans said, reported U.S. officials who met with him in The Hague.
The meeting took place in November 2007, ahead of the February 2008 unilateral declaration of independence made by the province's ethnic Albanians.
According to this, Timmermans "noted that Russia was creating havoc in the Balkans, and Kosovo will be a messy affair." He was also quoted as saying that the Russians "will react strongly, and the European reaction will be all over the place," once the proclamation has been made in Priština.
The leaked cable comes as the reputation of Kosovo's Albanian leaders has been dealt a series of blows, including the human organ trafficking report put together by Council of Europe Special Rapporteur Dick Marty.
Last week, the Guardian newspaper published what it said were leaked NATO documents, that named Kosovo Albanian Prime Minister and former KLA leader Hashim Thaci as one of the "biggest fish" in organized crime in Kosovo.