Serbia would get peace

The West has estimated that due to the war in Ukraine, which Moscow could use for wider destabilization of Europe, it was an ideal time to resolve the Serbia-Kosovo issue.

Belgrade, like Pristina, was offered a new platform for dialogue, which was immediately criticized by the zealots and other critics alike, asking why Serbia would be “in favour” (of the platform) if it won’t be rewarded with accelerated membership in the European Union.

Where did such a mercantile approach come from since Aleksandar Vučić announced his readiness to accept the concept for ending the already tiresome dialogue?

According to that EU proposal supported by the USA, Serbia would give consent for Kosovo’s entry into all international institutions, including the UN, and Kosovo would finally form the Union of Serbian Municipalities and give up the demand for mutual recognition.

The European plan for resolving the multi-decade-long conflict should not be tied to the speed of Serbia’s EU accession process, which is Belgrade’s long-proclaimed geostrategic goal. Moreover, during the recent meeting with the quintet of Western envoys and mediators, Vučić did not condition his readiness for making difficult decisions but justified it with Serbia’s European perspective, which would be blocked in case of refusal.

Kosovo’s seat in the UN has nothing to do with Serbia’s seat in the EU.

If Serbia accepts the Scholz-Macron plan, would it shorten its way to Brussels? No, it won’t.

The Europeans are aware that they cannot offer prospects for faster membership, which is due to the still insufficiently clearly defined enlargement policy, a result of the open opposition of some EU countries to the admission of countries from the Western Balkans.

Entry into the pan-European brotherhood is currently in the offing, mostly because Serbia is far from meeting the membership criteria. The reforms that are expected to create a legal state with stable institutions, a political order that respects all democratic freedoms and human rights and a state that has an independent judiciary and free media are too slow.

But, if that is so, and it is, why would integration be further slowed down by the issue of Kosovo, which is one of the main obstacles to more successful cooperation with the West, and at the same time, facilitates the growth of Russia’s influence?

In 1999, Serbia lost Kosovo, and Security Council Resolution 1244, which confirms territorial integrity, is not the Bible and it is not meant to last forever. It will be replaced by something new, adapted to the reality on the ground. The European plan is only a preparatory stage.

If there is no Yugo-nostalgia, would there be Kosovo-nostalgia? In Yugoslavia, many Serbs lived outside of Serbia. They will continue to live even if Serbia accepts the loss of some 13 percent of the land that is out of Belgrade’s control anyway.

Whoever wants to, let them continue to dream about “see you next year in Prizren”. Just let them remember this – Jews repeated “see you next year in Jerusalem” for two millennia, but they formed the state only after the bloody war in 1948. Are the critics of the agreement offering war for Kosovo?

Why do they continue to live inside their illusions, rejoicing that Albin Kurti participated in Davos under a footnote and that Kosovo is a candidate for Interpol membership, and do not see that there is no way to block Pristina’s path to the Council of Europe?

Serbia would finally define its borders, which, as we have known for a long time, is a prerequisite for joining the EU. We won’t see weather forecasts for Pristina any longer.

Why do echelons of critics of the announced readiness to consign the Kosovo conflict to the archives of history believe that it should be opposed? Because Vučić “hands over Kosovo” and gets nothing in return?

Serbia gets peace. My peace is your peace, your peace is my peace.

It is realistic to expect that the agreement would not overnight abolish all the antagonisms and prejudices that have existed between Serbs and Albanians for decades, but it creates an opportunity to get out of the daily stigma of tensions that fuel hatred and contribute to Belgrade’s conflicts with the region.

What does the Serbian public even know about the daily problems of “people down there”? They are condemned to listen to the exchange of howitzer fire from their politicians, and they do not know that they share the same problems with the Albanians in Kosovo, which – if they knew – would bring them closer as human beings. It is the same in Kosovo.

This is not by accident. Politicians in Belgrade and Pristina, with the support of the media, do not want to allow interpersonal contacts. Officials are more comfortable with a state of distrust.

Politics can change, but topography can’t. Whether the Albanians will be a nuisance or neighbours with whom you have normal relations depends on the decisions that will be made in Belgrade and Pristina.

The agreement would eliminate many obstacles and this occasion is, to put it mildly, historic.

The Serbian Orthodox Church’s Patriarchate of Peć, Kosovo, could continue functioning unhindered like the Serbian Jerusalem – a place of pilgrimage for all Christians, the Holy Land. Isn’t Kyev, the birthplace of Russian Orthodoxy, outside of Russia?

It would create an opportunity to spend tens of millions of euros, that would be otherwise spent defending the indefensible, on their own development. Even the construction of the national stadium.

Although I don’t think that there is a successful economy that solely rests on foreign investments, I would not be surprised to see that if Serbia does not reject the Western proposal, for which it would be severely punished, it will soon receive some capital investment from the West.

The goal is not to increase the number of KFOR soldiers (in Kosovo), but to create the perspective of their departure and deletion of the most nerve-wracking point in the Western Balkans. There would be no more illegal incursions of ROSU into the north, nor will the Serbian Army be put on the highest level of combat readiness.

Vučić would have to clearly tell the people – Kosovo is leaving, we are losing territory, but also the conflict that has taken away our energy and money for decades. We get peace, stability, and the possibility of even faster development. Such a Serbia would integrate into the EU faster and easier.

Well, let the representatives of the people decide.

By Dragan Stojanović

(Politika, 29.01.2023)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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