CrisisWatch Kosovo

Unchanged Situation

Kosovo and Serbia edged closer to deal on normalising relations following European Union (EU)-mediated talks in Brussels.

PM Kurti and Serb President Vučić tacitly approved EU proposal on normalising relations. Following meeting in Pristina with EU Special Representative Lajčak, PM Kurti 6 Feb accepted Franco-German proposal on normalising relations with Serbia as “good basis”. EU High Representative Josep Borrell 9 Feb confirmed inviting leaders to EU-mediated dialogue 27 Feb, 10 Feb said proposal is “the only way to solve the problems and normalise relations”. Vučić 17 Feb confirmed readiness for dialogue on condition that Kosovo Association of Serb Municipalities – which would enable Serb-majority municipalities in Kosovo to form self-governing association – is discussed. Borrell 27 Feb announced sides agreed that “no more discussions are needed on the European Union proposal” and expressed readiness to “proceed with implementation”. Talks will now focus on leaked annex, which spells out timeline for reaching final deal.

International actors showed support for normalisation process ahead of talks. Turkish President Erdoğan 3 Feb expressed “support” for dialogue. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Quint ambassadors (France, Germany, Italy, UK and U.S.) 7 Feb reiterated importance of making “concrete progress” in EU-facilitated talks. European Council 9 Feb “underlined the urgent need for progress in the normalisation”. U.S. Sec State Antony Blinken 15 Feb said normalisation “will bring security and prosperity” to region.

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In The News

15 Feb 2023
There’s just zero trust [between Kosovo and Serbia] and active hostility on both sides. Gzero

Marko Prelec

Consulting Senior Analyst, Balkans

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