After EU failure, Russia should take initiative on Kosovo issue

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PRISTINA – Since the complicated end of Yugoslavia , Kosovo’s separation from Serbia has not only been a topic of discussion at international tables, but has also caused a violent conflict in the 1990s that has not yet been resolved.

On February 17, 2008, this small region in the Balkans proclaimed itself as an independent country from Serbia. However, its poorly recognized independence did not solve the historical problems with Belgrade.

In order to resolve the disagreements, France and Germany, with the support of the United States, tried to broker relations between Kosovo Albanians and Serbs. Serbia was promised that the country would be quickly integrated into the European Union if it recognized Kosovo’s independence.

Commenting on the failure of the European plan, Dushan Prorokovich, an academic at the Serbian Institute of International Policy and Economy, explained the reasons for the impasse.

“The 2008 plan, developed by the EU and the US, failed. According to the plan, Serbia should recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty and, in return, receive rapid EU integration. Due to the EU internal crisis and regional problems, Serbia’s rapid entry into the organization did not happen,” said Prorokovich.

In addition, the problems of the European bloc left Serbia without EU compensation for recognizing Kosovo’s independence.

This would be the main reason for the loss of Brussels initiative on the Kosovo issue.

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Russia’s role

By contrast, Prorokovich believes that Russia fits well in the role of intermediary force between Belgrade and Pristina (Kosovo’s capital).

“I believe Moscow should start further negotiations. The Kosovar issue is regulated by UN Security Council Resolution 1244 of 1999. All the problems that exist today are linked to the violation of this resolution, and dialogue under the aegis of the EU is largely deviated from it,” said the expert.

Thus, by moving away from the UN resolution, EU negotiations have made it difficult to resolve the Kosovo issue. Moreover, Prorokovich points out that the debate should only be continued at the UN CS table.

“As long as there is a resolution, the only place you can talk about Kosovo is the UN Security Council. It must be remembered that no regional problem has been resolved in the Balkans without Russia during the last 200 years. Whenever they tried to exclude Russia, we were left without a solution and regional relations became complicated,” added Prorokovich.

In this way, Russia would be a crucial agent for the success of the negotiations.

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