A political science professor and Balkan affairs expert, Florian Bieber, said that Germany’s warm relation with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic had cooled and that enthusiasm for him shrunk due to his support to border changes with Kosovo and the solidification of his power, the Beta news agency reported on Tuesday.
“While the diplomats and politicians dealing with the situation in Serbia have noticed (Vucic’s) growing authoritarianism, the will to openly talk about it is still lacking,” Bieber, a professor at the Gratz University, told the Belgrade independent Danas daily.
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Regarding the Kosovo issue, Bieber said that “after such elections, Vucic can’t say he has an obstacle to a compromise (with Pristina), especially after the far-right Serbian Radical Party (SRS) hasn’t won any parliament seats.”
Speaking about the cancellation of the White House meeting between Vucic and Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci scheduled for last Saturday, Bieber said that the US President Donald Trump’s special envoy for the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations, Richard Grenell, “cooperated only with Thaci and even contributed to the fall of (former Prime Minister Albin) Kurti’s cabinet.”
“Pending the confirmation of the war crimes indictment against Thaci, his (Grenell’s) partner is not there anymore, and it will take months before he finds another strong partner with a mandate to negotiate,” Bieber said, adding he expected the European Union back behind the wheel in the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina.
(Novi Magazin, 29.06.2020)
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