Although both Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic have travelled to Brussels, no face-to-face meetings have been scheduled, and it instead appears that both leaders will meet with EU and possibly US representatives in lieu of direct talks.
Over the past days—and in the wake on an EU Parliament resolution that demanded de-escalation between the two sides, but which also appeared to pin guilt of escalation on the Serbian side in the wake of the Sept. 24-25 Banjska raid in North Kosovo, various statements to the press have come from both Kurti and Vucic.
Kurti has demanded a KFOR presence on the border, and Vucic has responded that he has no issue with this. Vucic has also stated that previously the both sides were presented with a normalization agreement that included the long-awaited establishment of a Community of Serb Municipalities—yet Kurti then refused the CSM and agreement both. And Kurti has now stated that he will not participate in dialogue with Serbia if Serbia is not sanctioned for the incident in Banjska.
How this will be perceived by Brussels—which appeared to have once again shifted sentiment toward Kosovo—is now anybody’s guess. For his part, Vucic has said: “We are ready to talk” and that the EU “is knocking on an open door,” according to N1info.rs.
Yet he has also noted the devil in the details, and that although Kosovo has said it accepts the EU normalization proposal “as a foundation,” at the same time Kurti has stated that the CSM is off the table.
Which essentially means talks are off. But as the two leaders are not scheduled to actually meet in Brussels, this appears to be a given.
Photo of Kosovo PM Albin Kurti and EU High Representative Josep Borrell by European Commission, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons.