Deal between Serbia and Kosovo

Thanks to EU mediation Serbia and Kosovo have reached a partial agreement in the dispute over mutual recognition of documents for crossing the border between the two countries: from now on, Kosovar citizens may travel to Serbia with their ID documents while Kosovo continues to accept Serbian papers. No agreement was reached on car registration plates, however. The press still sees plenty of potential for conflict.

Open/close all quotes (HR) /

Vučić diverting public attention

The compromise means de facto recognition of Kosovo by Serbia, says Telegram:

“If one had to sum up in one sentence what Vučić did in one day, it would be: first he effectively recognised Kosovo, then he banned the [LBGTQ event] Europride and appointed Ana Brnabić as the new-old prime minister. And now everyone is talking about the ban, which is an important issue, but no one is talking about the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo. ... Serbia recognised documents of the Kosovar state, or rather its statehood, but no one wants to or is allowed to say so in so many words. Not even the majority of the opposition, whose views don't differ significantly from those of Vučić when it comes to Kosovo.”

Danas (RS) /

Recognition not the main issue

The real problem is Aleksandar Vučić, Danas criticises:

“Whether Vučić has recognised Kosovo is a completely futile question. ... Kosovo's independence does not depend on his recognition or his betrayal - a term used by the extremist and right-wing parties. What depends on Vučić is only how the citizens of Serbia are informed, or more precisely 'programmed', to understand reality in a way that serves his personal interests rather than the public good. So this is not about Vučić's negotiations with the Kosovar side, but about how he can mislead the citizens of Serbia as much as possible so that he can stay in power and strengthen his position.”

El Periódico de España (ES) /

New right poised to advance

El Periódico de España warns of Russian influence in Belgrade:

“Vladimir Đukanović, MP for the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, has justified Russian brutality against Ukraine and is already planning to emulate the conflict. He recently declared that 'Serbia could be compelled to participate in the 'denazification' of the Balkans'. ... Đukanović's comment adopts the Russian discourse according to which the whole of Europe is trapped in a vortex of self-destructive degeneration. ... The culture war led by the new right is having an impact in the countries of the Visegrád group and other European states like Bosnia, which Moscow has warned against joining Nato.”