Is this Dacic's "Kosovo realpolitik, and paying EU price"?

Ivica Dacic has once again penned an article about a "delimitation" in Kosovo, stressing that this would be "a lasting and quickly achievable solution."

Source: B92
(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

However, "the international community" is yet to react loudly to his ideas.

Analyst Tim Ash briefly commented for Bloomberg - which refers to Dacic's proposal as "partition" - on the new op-ed written by the Serbian foreign minister, where he speaks about "a compromise between historic and ethnic rights."

"This is a notable development, given where it comes from. Dacic will just argue this is realpolitik - accepting the reality, and a price for Serbian EU membership," Ash said.

As Dacic himself said after his first article on the same topic published in the Belgrade press, parallel with President Aleksandar Vucic's "internal dialogue on Kosovo," his idea about "delimitation" has been causing "great anxiety on many sides."

The Serbian minister thinks this is a clear indicator of the direction that should be taken. Clearly, however, only one direction is acceptable to the Albanian side in Kosovo.

"To Serbian FM Dacic: if internal dialogue isn't about recognizing Kosovo's independent statehood, it would be tantamount to failure. If Serbia continuously campaigns against Kosovo's membership of international organizations, for what normalization are we talking about," Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj asked in two messages posted on Twitter.

Professor of Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz Florian Bieber considers everything that Dacic is talking about to be "old news."

Austria's NZZ said that Belgrade's thinking about "a partition" means "opening up taboo issues"; however, Bieber wrote on Twitter that this was something "Dacic and others" have been suggesting for years - and is therefore "not a taboo but old news."

And while the message from Pristina is that such proposals represent "dangerous political statements," it is worth noting that Bieber probably has in mind the ideas about partitioning Kosovo presented by late author Dobrica Cosic.

The idea was also spoken about in the past by former South-East Europe Stability Pact coordinator Erhard Busek, former British Ambassador in Belgrade Ivor Roberts, and recently by former CIA official Steven Meyer.

"The third" side in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue - the EU - has so far kept silent.

As far as Washington is concerned, no reaction is expected, nor a change in its firm stand on the status of Kosovo and Metohija, while the other two major world powers, Russia and China, are silent on this issue. However, immediately after he presented his proposal Sputnik published a brief interview with Dacic, while Beijing, as is its custom, does not easily come out publicly with its positions.

In his latest op-ed, this time written for the Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti, Dacic states that "delimitation to what is Serb and what is Albanian" is the only possible lasting compromise solution, along with special status for Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries, and the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities in the southern part of Kosovo.

"If this turns out to be impossible or unacceptable, I will not be unhappy but I will instead try to make a contribution in finding a lasting and realistic solution," Dacic said.


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