Kosovo conflict: resolution in sight?
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić has hinted that his country may be ready to yield in the conflict with Kosovo, whose independence Belgrade has yet to recognise. Vučić declared that he was willing to take the path of compromise after Western negotiators threatened sanctions if the recently presented Franco-German normalisation plan was not accepted. Commentators discuss what the future might hold.
From one interim solution to the next
The proposal is just a temporary solution, Jutarnji list explains:
“Serbia does not have to recognise Kosovo, but it is expected to refrain from opposing Kosovo's accession to international organisations. Kosovo should allow the Serbs in Kosovo an adequate level of self-government. ... The proposal is no doubt good, but it is not a proposal for a final, all-encompassing, legally binding normalisation of relations. For the time being the EU and the US have abandoned any ambitions for a 'final and complete normalisation of relations' and are offering a new interim solution until the conditions for a complete normalisation and an eventual accession of Serbia and the Kosovo to the EU have been created.”
Belgrade simply has no choice
Radio Kommersant FM sees Serbia in a bind:
“Serbia's President Aleksandar Vučić is not to be envied. Whatever miraculously smooth balancing acts he performs, he has little chance of winning, or at least surviving, the confrontation with the Europeans and Americans. ... The time for Western persuasion is over, ultimatums are called for. ... If the Serbs refuse to implement the Kosovo plan recently delivered to Belgrade by envoys from the US, France, Germany, Italy and the EU, they face isolation, blockades and economic strangulation. This is fatal for a state surrounded on all sides by Nato and EU members or accession candidates.”
Russia would block UN accession
Writing in in Peščanik, law professor Marko Milanović doubts whether Kosovo will be able to join the UN in the near future:
“Even if Serbia now explicitly demanded that Russia vote for Kosovo's admission, I think Russia would want to wait and use Kosovo's accession as a pawn in its negotiations with the West, which will take place at some point. In short, I don't see how Kosovo could be admitted to the UN as long as there is no resolution of the Ukrainian-Russian crisis, which I fear is still a long way off. Serbia's acceptance of the basic agreement would not make it any more likely that Kosovo could expect to become a UN member within a reasonable period of time.”