EU foreign policy chief says Serbia and Kosovo are on the edge of conflict

EU foreign policy chief says Serbia and Kosovo are on the edge of conflict
Serbian military vehicles driving towards the border with Kosovo. / bne IntelliNews
By Valentina Dimitrevska in Skopje November 15, 2022

EU High Commissioner Josep Borrell said on November 14 that Kosovo and Serbia are on the edge of another conflict and called on both sides to work on finding a solution.

A few days ago, Borrell met Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Paris to discuss possible progress in the EU-mediated normalisation dialogue. Tensions in northern Kosovo escalated after Serbs there decided to abandon the state institutions in protest against the authorities’ insistence on continuing with re-registration of cars with Serbian plates.

“We have to go out of the crisis mode and look for a structural approach,” Borrell told reporters before the Foreign Affairs Council meeting, which focused on Ukraine, the Western Balkans and Iran, according to his tweet.

“We presented a proposal which should be discussed. It is a good way out of [the] situation,” Borrell said.

He was referring to the new French-German proposal for solving the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo.

Borrell again called on both sides to fulfil their commitments and implement past agreements.

In the meantime, Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani called extraordinary elections for mayors in four municipalities in northern Kosovo, North Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Leposavic and Zvecan for December 18, after ethnic Serbs resigned.

Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008 and it is still not recognised by Belgrade as a separate country. Pristina and Belgrade are engaged in an EU-mediated dialogue which so far has not brought significant progress.