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Serbia and Kosovo: How The Conflict Could Develop Further

In Kosovo, another clash broke out between the Serbian and Albanian population. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić put the army on full alert. “Paragraph” figured out what are the prospects for the development of this conflict.

A new aggravation of the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo took place on Friday, May 26. Throughout the weekend there were protests and clashes between Serbs, Albanians and NATO peacekeepers. The reason for this was the election of an ethnic Albanian mayor in the northern part of Kosovo, where the Serbian population predominates.

Recent clashes

On Monday, May 29, it became known that during the latest clashes with protesting Serbs, about 25 NATO military contingents in Kosovo and Metohija KFOR, defending three town halls in northern Kosovo, were injured.

“During the counteraction to the most active outcasts, several soldiers of the Italian and Hungarian NATO contingent were attacked and injured,” KFOR quoted Reuters as saying .

What is happening in Kosovo was called “absolutely unacceptable and irresponsible” by Italian Prime Minister George Meloni:

“It is vital to avoid further unilateral action by the Kosovo authorities. It is essential that all parties immediately take a step back to reduce tensions.”

In turn, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that 52 Serbs were injured in clashes with the NATO contingent. Vucic accused Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti of creating a tense situation.

“All this is organized by Albin Kurti. He had a great desire to have a conflict between the Serbs and NATO, he is the only one to blame for what is happening. He washes his hands like Pilate and says it has nothing to do with him,” the Serbian leader said.

Elena Guskova, head of the Center for the Study of the Contemporary Balkan Crisis at the Institute of Slavic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is sure that NATO and Serbia cannot meet in a direct confrontation simply because Belgrade will not go into open confrontation.

“Despite the fact that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has repeatedly stated that he is ready to radically resolve this issue with the help of the army, it is clear that this will not happen. According to the 2013 agreement, there is a border between Serbia and Kosovo recognized by the EU and other countries, crossing which Belgrade actually challenges the EU and NATO,” she told Paragraph.

Serbia and Kosovo: how the conflict could develop further
Photo: TASS / Alexander Dziuba

Only one final

Guskova believes that what is happening now in Kosovo is a natural continuation of the process that has been going on for 23 years:

“Since the beginning of the new century, the Serbian government has constantly made concessions. It recognized the border between Serbia and Kosovo, according to the 2013 treaty. Most recently, a French-German road map, unfavorable for Belgrade, and a plan for its implementation were agreed .

Due to the fact that Serbia is making all the concessions, the Albanians are convinced that they are only one step away from the separation of Kosovo and Metohija. The expert explained that they want to achieve the desired separation by force.

“This time it all started with the fact that Albanian formations and police detachments were unilaterally introduced to the north of Kosovo and Metohija. The so-called NATO peacekeepers have also increased their presence in these territories. After that, elections were held for local authorities, but the results, for obvious reasons, did not suit the Serbian population. The Serbs in these regions have become virtually isolated and cannot receive support from Belgrade,” she added.

Guskova believes that now Serbia has no other options for resolving this issue, except to initiate a negotiation process under the leadership of European countries. The Serbs themselves in Kosovo and Metohija can do nothing but protest and wait for the support of volunteers.

“However, a few days ago, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic resigned as president of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party. This is one of the tricks when there is hope that something can change if some kind of reshuffle is made within the party or in parliament. However, for Serbia, these are illusory hopes,” the expert said.

She concluded that now the main issue for Belgrade is the issue of Kosovo and Metohija, and not the internal political struggle.

Source: Absat Z



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