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10 Mar, 2023 22:09

Kosovo wants NATO-Serbia war – Belgrade

The Serbian president compared the breakaway province’s leader to Ukraine’s Zelensky
Kosovo wants NATO-Serbia war – Belgrade

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has accused the ethnic Albanian authorities in the breakaway province of Kosovo of attempting to provoke a war in which NATO would once again take their side.

“They want to drag Serbia into a conflict with NATO. Kurti wants to be like [Vladimir] Zelensky, and I would be some kind of [Vladimir] Putin,” Vucic said on Friday, referring to Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and the presidents of Ukraine and Russia.

“It’s what they’re after, what they’ve been doing all along. And in this, they have the support of a significant part of the international community, because [Kosovo] is their child,” he added. 

Vucic was commenting on the recent arrest of an ethnic Serb on charges of “war crimes” dating back to the 1998-99 conflict, which ended with NATO bombing Serbia on behalf of ethnic Albanian separatists. The provisional government in Pristina declared independence in 2008, with Western support, which Belgrade has refused to recognize.

“They don’t want normalization, they want to humiliate Serbia,” argued Vucic. “But I’m telling you, that won’t happen. There will be no humiliation, no capitulation.”

The proposal for “normalization of relations” between Pristina and Belgrade, made public last month by the EU, amounts to a de facto recognition of the breakaway province, which would have the right to join NATO, the EU, and the UN. Vucic insists he did not sign anything and will never agree to those terms.

“We are preparing for talks on Monday or Tuesday,” he said, referring to the EU-sponsored talks in neighboring North Macedonia. “But it’s not clear to me why. They said they wouldn’t agree to a deal. Well, why are you coming then? For us to recognize Kosovo?”

Vucic insists that before anything else can happen, the EU needs to enforce the 2013 Brussels Agreement, which among other things envisioned political autonomy for ethnic Serbs in the province. The ethnic Albanian authorities have refused to implement that part of the deal for ten years now, insisting it clashes with the ‘constitution’ of Kosovo. Neither the EU nor the US has done anything to influence Pristina to change its mind, Vucic noted.

Instead, the EU has just granted Kosovo visa-free travel to the bloc, while threatening an economic boycott against Serbia unless it joins the Western sanctions against Russia.