How will the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo develop further?

Unresolved Contradictions Create the Ground for a New Aggravation of Relations The conflict between Serbia and the partially recognized Kosovo has begun to decline. But experts interviewed by RBC warn that due to unresolved contradictions, tensions between Belgrade and Pristina will increase. webp 673w” type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >

How the situation in Kosovo has changed after the aggravation in the north

After the authorities of partially recognized Kosovo, amid growing tensions with Serbia, agreed to postpone the decision on non-recognition of Serbian documents on their territory and the issuance of temporary ones, as well as on forced replacement number plates, the situation in the republic began to normalize. Kosovo Serbs began to dismantle the barricades built the day before on the main highways leading to the north of the republic.

However, the checkpoint “Yarine” and Brnjak connecting Kosovo and Serbia remain blocked. At the checkpoint “Merdare” there is a traffic jam in the direction of Kosovo. Serbs living in Kosovo began to issue temporary entry documents. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the partially recognized republic is urging residents to enter from North Macedonia. “Kosovo police temporarily closed Yarine checkpoint” and “Brnyak” due to road blockages. We notify all compatriots and citizens on the way to use other checkpoints for traffic until new official information arrives. If you have already left for Serbia, then we ask you to enter through North Macedonia— Checkpoint «Presevo»,— The ministry said in a statement.

Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija (Serbian name for Kosovo. — RBC) under the government of Serbia, Petar Petkovic, in an interview with national television in the morning, said that the government was headed with President Aleksandar Vucic “turned heaven and earth” to reach those who could influence Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

Petkovic stressed that Pristina had not kept its promise to delay the decision to issue temporary documents to replace Serbian ones. Belgrade hopes that in the coming days the issuance of migration cards for entry into Kosovo will be stopped.

Brussels also called on Pristina to immediately lift unilateral measures that impede the movement of citizens. The official representative of the foreign policy service of the European Union, Peter Stano, noted that the countries— EU members are watching the situation in northern Kosovo with concern. “Any uncoordinated and unilateral actions that jeopardize stability and security in the region and impede the freedom of movement of all citizens must be stopped immediately. The only option to resolve any dispute— it is dialogue and negotiations, — Stano said. He also called on the representatives of Serbia and Kosovo to meet in Brussels to discuss ways to find solutions and to prevent a recurrence of tension. And he urged to resolve all open issues between the parties with the assistance of the EU.

«RIA Novosti» With reference to the press service of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, it was reported that the head of the department, Mevlut Cavusoglu, had telephone conversations with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Nikola Selakovich, and the Foreign Minister of Kosovo, Donika Gervalla Schwartz, and announced Ankara's readiness to contribute to reducing tensions in the region.

Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov expressed support for Serbia. “We absolutely support Serbia. We are next to the Kosovo Serbs. We believe that these (new measures by Pristina.— RBC) are absolutely unfounded demands»,— Peskov said. He called on the countries that recognized Kosovo and act as guarantors of security to warn the authorities of the partially recognized state against rash steps that could lead to an increase in tension.

There will be a new aggravation of the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo

Relations between Kosovo and Serbia will regularly escalate, since in the 23 years that have passed since the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, it has not been possible to reach a sustainable settlement, the editor-in-chief of the Russia in Global Affairs magazine told RBC. Fyodor Lukyanov. “This time it seems that the initiative came from Pristina. The Albanian authorities decided that they could achieve more in isolating Serbia, since the US is preoccupied with something else, and Europe has fallen into a kind of trance. The United States, apparently, strongly demanded not to do this at the moment. Thus, the acute crisis was resolved, — he explained.

Lukyanov stressed that the very problem of relations between Kosovo and Serbia has not disappeared. European integration of the Balkans has traditionally been seen as a way to solve it, but the prospect of the Balkan countries joining the EU is now shrouded in fog. “I think there will be an outbreak after a while. I'm not sure that it will be September 1 (the deadline until which the decision not to recognize Serbian documents on the territory of Kosovo is postponed. — RBC). Until that moment, they will still postpone or pretend to be discussing, but the situation in the Balkans, not only in Kosovo, is gradually aggravating for the reason that it is completely incomprehensible to whom it will refer to a more general future of the region,— concluded Lukyanov.

It is not worth expecting a war between Serbia and Kosovo, since local leaders did not pursue such a goal, arranging the current aggravation, like the previous ones, Carnegie Foundation expert Maxim Samorukov is sure. He believes that the current outbreak of tension between Pristina and Belgrade was initiated to “teach the West to value the status quo more and not put too much pressure on the parties to the conflict on settlement, reforms.” “Now negotiations will begin, local leaders will demonstrate their balance and ability to control the situation, Western mediators— its negotiating effectiveness. And in a few weeks, tired but happy, everyone will return to where it all began, proud that they saved the Balkans from a new war, — wrote Samorukov on Facebook (the social network belongs to the extremist and banned Meta company recognized in Russia). The expert also noted that there is no place for Russia in this conflict, and even Serbia does not want to invite it to a settlement. “Belgrade in this escalation is working for a Western audience, and Moscow will only interfere,” — he concluded.

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