Borrell pressures Kosovo ahead of EU–led Serbia dialogue

[EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ]

The EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, has accused Kosovo of stalling dialogue with Serbia designed to normalise relations.

Since 2010, Kosovo has been under pressure after Serbia refused to recognise its independence, despite the International Court of Justice recognising it was legal.

“We’ll continue to prepare for the next meeting, but that will only happen if the two sides find common language over positive and substantial results. That’s why Lajcak and I will continue to engage with the parties involved, especially with Kosovo, which is showing that it is not willing to sit at the table,” Borrell said during a press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic.

For the last 11 years, the EU has facilitated dialogue between the two. Some 33 agreements have been signed, but few have been implemented in full, if at all. The main sticking point is Kosovo demands Serbia recognise its independence, which Serbia said it would never do.

The EU, meanwhile, is pushing for the “normalisation of relations”, a vague phrase that fails to address the main point and confuses the matter further.

Borrell also announced the EU and US envoys for dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak and Gabriel Escobar, will visit Pristina and Belgrade next week to push both governments to advance the dialogue that has stalled since July 2021.

This is not the first time Borrell has blamed Kosovo for lack of progress in the dialogue. In December 2020, he interrupted Prime Minister Albin Kurti during a press conference and said he should prioritise Serbia’s agreement on establishing a Serb-only association of municipalities, above others.

“I am sorry, Prime Minister [Albin Kurti], we have to continue asking for the implementation of this agreement. I know that there are other agreements pending. I know that on both sides there are agreements which have not been implemented, but this is a very important one,” he stated.

Kosovo has refused to allow the establishment of the association claiming it would create a state within a state and be similar to Bosnia and Herzegovina, which Pristina says has failed.

(Exit.al)

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