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Brothers in Profit: How to Make Money on NATO Bombings of Yugoslavia

© AP Photo / Dimitri MessinisFlames from an explosion light up the Belgrade skyline near a power station after NATO cruise missiles and warplanes attacked Yugoslavia late Wednesday, March 24, 1999
Flames from an explosion light up the Belgrade skyline near a power station after NATO cruise missiles and warplanes attacked Yugoslavia late Wednesday, March 24, 1999 - Sputnik International
US General Wesley Clark, the former NATO military commander who played a central role in jackhammering Kosovo from Serbia, is now the chairman of Envidity Energy Inc., which has a license to develop the region’s vast reserves of lignite, a form of coal mostly used for power generation.

However, what appeared to be a highly lucrative business now seems to have hit a snag after the Kosovo parliament put the matter on hold arguing that it needs to hear the opinion of the residents of the areas Envidity Energy is going to dig in.

Residents of Pristina holding a new flag of the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo - Sputnik International
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Meanwhile, Sputnik has found out that the locals are not really happy about Mr. Clark’s business plan, which has already been accepted by the Kosovo government, but still needs parliamentary approval.

Some members of the Kosovo elite believe that the lion’s share of the profits will end up in Wesley Clark’s pockets because he will be able to turn the extracted coal into fuel and sell it on the market.

According to the contract, only five percent of the extracted coal will be processed in Kosovo, which means that only a handful of new jobs will be created there. Moreover, the government will have to compensate land owners for the right to extract coal on their territories.

Kosovo contains the world’s fifth largest reserves of brown coal, or lignite, estimated at about 12 billion tons.

Opposition parties in Kosovo argue that Clark’s company could  produce 2.5 million liters of fuel a day, but the region will start earning its three-percent share of sales only if the daily output reaches 5 million liters.

This also means that Kosovo will turn into one big excavation site.

“The government’s decision to approve Clark’s license now is a purely political deal. It will do Kosovans no good and we will make every effort to prevent it from happening the way Clark’s company wants,” a source in Pristina told Sputnik.

Kosovo accounts for a hefty 60 percent of Serbia’s mineral wealth. In a 2008 report the Belgrade-based newspaper Economist  wrote that with Kosovo’s breakaway Serbia had lost an estimated 100 billion euros’ worth of lignite, zinc and tin.

Wesley Clark is not the only one to reap the rewards of the 1999 NATO bombings of Yugoslavia with ex-Foreign Secretary Madeleine Albright  and onetime deputy head of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) John Covey also standing to gain.

Smoke billows from Serbian Orthodox Church which was set ablaze by ethnic Albanian extremists in the northern Kosovo city of Kosovska Mitrovica, Thursday, March 18, 2004 - Sputnik International
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Mrs. Albright’s ASM Company once tried and failed to snap up the Kosovo Post and Telecoms Company.

Her business affairs in Kosovo are currently being managed by President Hashim Thaci’s brother Ganup who is investing Mrs. Albright’s money into the construction of roads in Kosovo as part of a Turkish-American consortium led by none other than John Covey himself.

Madeleine Albright is doing business also with President Thaci’s younger brother via a firm selling construction materials to road building companies.

Moreover, Bechtel-Enka, another Turkish-American company liked to the former US Secretary of State, happens to be a business partner of Building Illyria Company, which erects condominiums all across the former Serbian province.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after spending several years under UN administration.

It is recognized by Washington and many EU member nations.

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