Culture Supplement

The rivalry between Austria-Hungary and Russia in Kosovo

The Austro-Hungarian sector in Kosovo envisaged by the Mürzstegut Program

At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, Russia gave a warning to the Ottoman government and the administration of the Province of Kosovo, that the Albanians who allegedly attacked the Serbs in Kosovo, were not only not being persecuted, but also that those who had been convicted had been released and that they were not being taken measures for the security of Serbs. In the same way as now that Russian diplomacy leaves no stone unturned in its efforts to undermine the consolidation of the Kosovo state, even then St. Petersburg followed the same discourse against the Albanian interest, used countries such as Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria to to achieve its goals in the direction of the Province of Kosovo, namely to prevent the extension of the political influence of the official Vienna in the Albanian territories

For Balkan affairs, the most rivaled were Austria-Hungary and Russia, which were trying to build their ties with the population of the region in order to cement their influence. Russia, in the framework of efforts to prevent the extension of the influence and presence of Austria-Hungary in Kosovo and to prevent the Ottoman state from recognizing the autonomous demands of the Albanians, became a protector of Serbian ambitions at the level of European diplomacy.

Russia, which had long been showing an active interest, remained interested in strengthening ties with the Slavic-Orthodox population. In this capacity, she found herself also in Kosovo in occasional interventions towards the administration of the Vilayet for the benefit of the Serbian population. It supported the propaganda of both the Orthodox religious clergy and the Serbian state about the alleged plight of the Serbian population, although the Ottoman state had guaranteed extensive privileges to the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian state itself to invest in the field of education and culture.