Tim Judah: Russia would benefit from Serbia and Kosovo agreeing about border change

British journalist and political analyst, Tim Judah said today that Russia would benefit greatly if the result of the Belgrade-Pristina negotiations would be recognition of Kosovo’s independence and land swap.

“Russia could take advantage of this precedent in an effort to secure similar arrangements for secessionist territories under its control – namely, in Moldova (Transnistria) and Georgia (South Ossetia and Abkhazia),” Judah told Beta agency.

Commenting on the meeting between Russian President, Vladimir Putin and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaçi during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the World War I on Sunday in Paris, Judah recalled that “in 2014, when Russia took Crimea, Putin listed Kosovo as a precedent”.

“So, it is logical that in the future, Kosovo would be used for Russian benefit,” he added.

Judah estimated that the Thaci-Putin meeting in Paris was a sign that Russia would support the idea of Serbia and Kosovo exchanging land.

“Putin said he would support everything that Serbia and Kosovo agreed to … If he was against something, he would be very vocal about it, like (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel, but he said that he would support whatever (Belgrade and Pristina) agreed on. And that is at the core of what is being discussed now,” Judah added.

According to the British analyst, that the main message for Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic, from Putin meeting with Thaci, was just “continue with the process”.

Judah added that it perfectly made sense for Putin to support the change of the border in the case of Kosovo, especially since Russia has recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia and now has a problem with Ukraine.

“If somebody else could accept a change in the borders, that would be the way out for him (Putin) and a way for Russia to legalize the seizure of territory from neighbouring states,” Judah said, though, he added, he does not believe that that will happen for Putin.

He added that one should not forget that Putin is only concerned about his interests, not Serbia’s.

(Novi Magazin, 13.11.2018)



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