Push may be coming to shove with regard to the currently bitter relations between the governments of Kosovo and Serbia, as—according to various press reports–on Oct. 21 representatives of the EU and US will travel to Kosovo to meet with both Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic.
The meeting has been slated to include EU negotiator Miroslav Lajcak, German Chancellor Jens Plotner, Italian Prime Minister Francesco Tal, US Envoy to the Balkans Gabriel Escobar and Emmanuel Bonne, a key advisor to the president of France.
That said, this has not been confirmed, having been reported by a few news sites, ranging from Sot.news to Tanjug.rs.
The EU and the US have clearly been rattled by constant conflict between the two states, with the West shaken and angered by a surprise ambush of Kosovo police by a reported 30 extremely well-armed ethnic Serbs earlier this month in North Kosovo. The ambush and shootout left one Kosovo policeman dead, as well as three ethnic Serbs. It also looked to permanently derail on-again, off-again normalization talks between the two countries, which been primarily brokered by the EU.
The West also clearly wanting Serbia to move away from Russia and more in line with EU and US policies in the context of the war in Ukraine.
As for Vucic’s part, he has called for and claimed that there is an ongoing investigation into the matter, but he has also noted the frustration of ethnic Serbs in North Kosovo and the fact that their right to fair representation in terms of a long-promised community of Serb municipalities has been ignored.
In remarks on Oct. 17, French President Emmanuel Macron addressed both sides in an interview with Le Figaro, calling for de-escalation, but also threatening to go back on a visa-free regime for Kosovans while also demanding that Kurti re-run controversial elections in North Kosovo that saw ethnic Albanian mayors “win” in a contest that noted the participation of only 3.5 percent of the local populace.
Photo by Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.