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Written by SOT.COM.AL 9 Mars 2023
In February, according to the EU, Belgrade and Pristina accepted a compromise proposal that Brussels and Washington had been working on for months. German journalist Thomas Bry analyzes whether this is a path to a solution or a new failure. Russian President Vladimir Putin has always used the ongoing dispute between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo as a model for his attacks on Ukraine. The West, he says, has allowed Kosovo, which meanwhile is almost exclusively inhabited by Albanians, to secede from Serbia. That is why he must now allow Russia to return areas that historically belong to it, such as Crimea or eastern Ukraine, Putin says. This is why the West is now rushing to finally, after several decades, resolve the Kosovo conflict, so that the ruler of the Kremlin would take the alleged argument out of his hands. The result of Western efforts was the German-French compromise proposal of November 2022, which was published as an EU position at the end of February 2023. The most important provisions of that eleven-point document are: both sides mutually recognize documents and symbols national of the other party. Serbia waives the blockade of Kosovo's membership in international organizations, including the United Nations. Kosovo enables the creation of a controversial ten-year "community of municipalities" for the Serbian minority and guarantees special protection to the many medieval Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries on its territory. The United States also supports that plan. Top diplomats from Brussels and Washington have been making pilgrimages to the capitals Belgrade and Pristina for weeks to encourage Serbia and Kosovo to accept these proposals. And if the media of these two Western Balkan countries are to be believed, Western envoys have threatened political and economic isolation if their latest proposal is rejected again, as has often happened in the past.
The main event took place on February 27, 2023 in Brussels: the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, sat at the same table, moderated by EU mediators. In the end, the EU's high representative for foreign policy, Josep Borrell, announced a breakthrough: that both sides accepted the EU's proposal. This opened the door to a final solution to that perennial European conflict, Borrel said. But after returning from Brussels to Belgrade and Pristina, nothing could be heard of the supposed promises at EU headquarters. Serbia will never allow Kosovo's membership in the UN, President Vucic guaranteed. On the other hand, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, swore in the Prishtina Assembly that there is no question of establishing the Union of Serbian municipalities with autonomy and self-government. as well as special protection of Serbian cultural property. The behavior of Kurt and Vucic is neither unexpected nor surprising, because when it comes to the Kosovo problem, Pristina and Belgrade take positions that cannot be reconciled in any way.
Finalja në Ohër
Me ndërmjetësimin e BE-së, Vuçiç dhe Kurti do të takohen sërish më 18 mars në Ohër të Maqedonisë së Veriut. Atëherë të dyja palët do të duhet të deklarojnë qartë nëse janë gati të braktisin qëndrimet e tyre aktuale, siç pretendon Brukseli. Vuçiç, do të duhet të japë dritën jeshile për anëtarësimin e Kosovës në të gjitha organizatat ndërkombëtare, e megjithatë pengojnë anëtarësimin e Prishtinës në Kombet e Bashkuara. Kurti do të duhej të mundësonte krijimin e Bashkësisë së Komunave Serbe, ndonëse është kundër çdo forme institucionale dhe territoriale të atij komuniteti dhe dëshiron ta kufizojë mbrojtjen e pakicave në mbrojtjen e individëve. E sa i përket mbrojtjes së veçantë të manastireve dhe kishave serbe, opozita kosovare tashmë me sarkazëm po thotë se në të ardhmen do të duhet të tregosh pasaportën për të vizituar monumentet e kulturës. Duke pasur parasysh një situatë të tillë, është e qartë se do të kërkohet aftësi e madhe diplomatike për të bashkuar të papajtueshmet.