After a video emerged in October showing former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calling a group of pro-Serbian activists “disgusting Serbs,” the group has now filed a criminal complaint against her for spreading ethnic hatred.
A Czech film director and member of the civic group Friends of Serbs in Kosovo, Vaclav Dvorak, filed the complaint on behalf of the group.
According to the Czech news website, iDNES, the press release by the group states: “Any ethnic hatred coming from the mouth of a former high-ranking politician, who was involved in the NATO intervention in the Balkan conflict, we perceive as an expression of cynicism and disrespect to all the victims.”
As we previously reported, the activists confronted Albright and her associates at a book-signing event promoting her memoir “Prague Winter” in a Prague bookstore on October 23.
Albright served as U.S secretary of state from 1997 until 2001, including during the 1999 NATO air bombing of the former Yugoslavia, intended to drive Serbian troops out of Kosovo and end the conflict.
Led by Dvorak, the activists primarily protested her role in the U.S.-led bombing of Yugoslavia and her interest in Kosovo’s state-owned telecom and postal company. In September, “Bloomberg Businessweek” estimated the telecom deal could be worth as much as $753 million.
However Albright is not the only former U.S diplomat to have business interests in the postwar Balkans. In June, the Austrian financial daily “WirtschaftsBlatt” reported that Wesley Clark, who served as NATO commander in Kosovo from 1997 to 2000, has expressed interest in a business deal involving the conversion of lignite to liquid fuel. According to the report by “WirtschaftsBlatt,” Clark’s Canadian energy company, Envidity, is prepared to invest $5.6 billion in the project over the next six years if it receives a license.The company has filed a request with Kosovo’s authorities but has yet to receive permission to explore the country’s coal reserves.
Lignite is one of Kosovo’s most profitable natural resources. Europe’s smallest state is the world’s fifth-largest producer of lignite. Lignite also makes up 97 percent of the total electricity generation in Kosovo.
— Deana Kjuka
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