Serbia’s president expects ‘nothing’ from talks with Kosovo

Still, Aleksandar Vucic has confirmed he will partake in the upcoming negotiations hosted by Brussels

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic expects “nothing” from the upcoming talks with Kosovo, which were announced after the fresh flare-up between Belgrade and the breakaway region.

Speaking with the RTS TV channel on Tuesday, Vucic launched a personal attack against Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, stating the latter has clearly shown his attitude towards Belgrade and those who believe it was possible to maintain peace with the region are bitterly mistaken.

“I will go to Brussels, it’s not difficult for me, I don’t expect anything. Whoever thinks that it is possible to preserve peace with Kurti, I believe they are very wrong, I know who I am dealing with,” Vucic said.

Tensions soared between Belgrade and Pristina over the weekend, when the authorities of the breakaway region planned to ban the use of Serbian-issued license plates and ID papers starting from August 1 and enforce the measure with its police units. Belgrade called it an attack on Kosovo’s Serbian population as Vucic accused Pristina of infringing on the rights of local Serbs. Kurti, in turn, has accused local ethnic Serbs of attacking the police and claimed Kosovo had been facing “Serbian national-chauvinism.”

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US NATO soldiers patrol next to Kosovo police near the border between Kosovo and Serbia on October 2, 2021 © ARMEND NIMANI / AFP
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The crisis was put on hold after Washington called on Kosovo to postpone the implementation of the controversial rules until September 1. “Two days ago, in Kosovo and Metohija, we were one step away from disaster,” Vucic said, referring to the region by its official name.

The president also accused Kosovo authorities of political opportunism, alleging that they saw the ongoing Ukrainian crisis as a good time to reach their own goals.

“The bottom line is that some people in the region think that when there is general hysteria over the war in Ukraine, it is possible to achieve their goals,” Vucic stated.

NATO occupied Kosovo in 1999, after a 78-day bombing campaign against what was then Yugoslavia. The region unilaterally declared independence in 2008 with the support of the US and many of its allies. The breakaway region, however, has not received universal support, as it is not recognized by Serbia, Russia, China, and the UN as a whole.

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