Who's behind Pristina's moves - and who's in a hurry?
Political scientist Nexhmedin Spahiu says Pristina did not decide on its own not to go to Brussels for a new round of the Kosovo dialogue.Source: B92, Tanjug, Sputnik
The daily Vecernje Novosti is reporting at the same time that three EU members want to "speed up" the entire process.
In the past few days, the news about Kosovo has been the focus of public attention, that is, the end phase of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, which should, as the EU expects, lead to a legally binding normalization of relations. However, nobody is saying what it will be. Pristina wants recognition, Belgrade does not. And now, at least according to the press, three EU countries are entering the game.
Pristina two days ago announced that it would not go to Brussels to continue the dialogue with Belgrade, accusing Serbia of bearing the responsibility for that. On the other hand, Belgrade is saying the opposite - that Pristina is the irresponsible party. It is also argued that Pristina did not make such a decision on its own, that is, that someone else is standing behind it.
Nexhmedin Spahiu agrees with this opinion. He told Sputnik that Pristina holds the topic of the Community of Serb Municipalities (ZSO) as "the last compromise that would come if Serbia recognizes Kosovo."
"And that's why they want to solve other open issues before that, and that's why they're not going to Brussels," he said.
When reminded that the ZSO has been a topic in all the meetings so far, and that it is not clear why Pristina gave up on talking right now, Spahiu explained that this has been suggested to them by the West. And the situation on the side of Pristina is even more confusing because a platform for negotiations with Belgrade has been withdrawn from the Kosovo Assembly due to internal political disagreements.
"It should be kept in mind that Pristina has no vision about how to bring this entire process to an end. Their stances depend on the recommendations coming from the West, primarily from America, so it is difficult to negotiate with Belgrade. In fact Belgrade only is formally talking with Pristina and essentially these negotiations are between Belgrade and the West," said Spahiu.
Some are in a hurry, others are not
At the same time, Radio Free Europe reported from its diplomatic sources that some members of the EU are dissatisfied with the "mysteriousness" of the head of EU's team in the dialogue, Federica Mogherini, while other member states want to be directly involved in the dialogue.
Vecernje Novosti writes on Thursday that France, Germany and the Netherlands are seeking to engage in the dialogue on Kosovo and Metohija, as Mogherini's "assistants" - in order to impose their solution and complete the process by the end of the year.
The newspaper spoke with sources from diplomatic circles who said these realignments have picked up just before the final phase of the talks between Belgrade and Pristina. The article added that two blocs of countries have started to form within the European Union - those dissatisfied with the slowness of the process, where the above-mentioned "troika" is leading, and a group of states led by Spain who do not recognize Kosovo, who want to have more detailed knowledge about the course of the forthcoming negotiations, and also to be consulted in the process.
Namely, the most powerful EU members expect some kind of agreement between Belgrade and Pristina under the auspices of the EU to be achieved by the end of the year, so - from the point of view of the current deadlock in the talks - there is relatively little time to so that.
In this context, the leading capitals are demanding that Belgrade and Pristina be pressured by using the promises proceeding from the conclusions of the Sofia summit related to closer ties with the EU, which include infrastructure and other projects.
Those countries that have not recognized the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo also believe that a solution should be found in a timely manner, but some of them object to the dialogue process actually happening far from their eyes, although it is physically taking place in Brussels.