Serbia, Kosovo may endorse eventual normalization of relations deal today

A Serbian-Kosovo recognition deal may now be in sight, as multiple media reports have now stated that both Serbia and Kosovo may get behind an agreement today (Feb. 27) during Brussels-brokered talks to normalize relations that have had the region on edge for months.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has repeated teased the possibility of such a deal—nothing at various points that he is committed to dialogue and even that Serbia may need to in fact join in on sanctions against Russia.

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti has tended over the past months to take a harder line, and has even gone so far as to appear to label ethnic Serbs protesting in North Kosovo as criminals, while his government has suggested without evidence that Russian Wagner mercenaries were active during protests in North Kosovo in late 2022 and January of this year.

That said, citing an unnamed official, Euroactive.com claimed that the “endorsement” of a dela is not only in sight but expected later today.

This would be greatly welcomed by the EU and the United States both, as the West is keen to halt Russian influence in the Balkans or the destabilization of Kosovo—an unwanted spectre of violence, considering the ongoing war in Ukraine.

And the region has indeed been on edge, repeatedly, with ethnic Serbs in Kosovo protesting what they view as harsh treatment by Kosovo Albanian police, an attempt to force re-registration of Serbian license plates to Kosovo plates—which would de facto mean Serbia’s recognition as Kosovo as an independent state, the arrest of ethnic Serb and former Kosovo police officer Dejan P. and also a shooting incident involving Kosovo Albanian police of two Serbs.

At various times this resulted in protests and barricades in North Kosovo, as well as Serbia apparently putting its troops on war footing on the border while also petitioning KFOR troops to allow a 1,000-man “peacekeeping force” to protect ethnic Serbs there.

Tensions have plagued Kosovo for a full decade since the war in Kosovo in 1998-1999, which saw US/Nato involvement and subsequent talks in 2013 that promised a gradual normalization of relations, but also a Community of Serbs in North Kosovo, which has not happened to this day.

Photo: Kosovo and Metohija: KFOR soldiers protect non-Albanians in 2013. Photo from the „Roots of the Soul” project. Photo:by Darko Dozet. The original uploader was Dozetdarko at Serbian Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons.

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