Kosovo is definitely not going to be the topic of talks between Donald Tramp, the US president and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, at the upcoming Helsinki Summit.
Ivan Vijacic, the former Serbian ambassador to the United States, categorically denies claims that Putin and Trump will dedicate one minute of the meeting to the Kosovo issue.
“Serbia and Kosovo are not going to be the subject at that meeting. These are media speculations that have been made for various. Trump and Putin have much more important issues to resolve, but the issue of Crimea will certainly not be discussed in the context of Kosovo”, Ivan Vujacic adds.
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Vujacic adds that when two great powers are solving the problems of small states, that never ends well for those states, regardless of where they might be in the world.
Vujacic, who was the Serbian ambassador to the United States during the assassinated Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic’s government, also dismisses claims made by the Serbian officials that the dialogue on Kosovo between Belgrade and Pristina would expand to involve great powers in the process.
“If this is done, that would delay the resolution of the problem indefinitely. More participants, more problems. It will only make matters even more complicated”, Vujacic says.
For days, Serbian media have been reporting that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will find a resolution for Kosovo, that will take only one minute, at the upcoming Helskini Summit. Тhe Blic daily said that „Europe has neither power, nor the will, nor the ability to make Albanians do something. That’s why the idea is that Putin and Tramp agree on this crucial issue on our behalf, and for Europe to accept that as a final decision”.
However, a Kosovo analyst, Shkëlzen Maliqi says that, although marginal, the issue of Kosovo can serve as an initial agreement if it is tied to the “issue of the Crimean right to self-determination and joining Russia” which is something that Putin has been insisting on so many times.
“During his election campaign, Trump has “given” Crimea to Russia, but now he could ask for something in return, something that the West and America regard as a done deal, which is the independence of Kosovo. The two of them can solve this issue in half an hour. Of course, this in some way, represents a blow to the current world order, which is both Trump and Putin’s mission, i.e. to cause havoc in this world order. Their agenda is to talk about the crisis in Ukraine, the Caucasus, and the Middle East”, Maliqi explains.
There has been a strong diplomatic activity on the Serbian side in the past few weeks. Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic was in Moscow last week, but it was hard to conclude from a press release what Dacic and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov talked about. In the meantime, the arrival of the Russian president in Serbia is expected to take place on 1st November.
In addition, the media claim that President Vucic spoke with John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser. On Tuesday, President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko also came to Belgrade. Associated Press reported that reported that Ukraine was seeking better relations with Serbia, “a Balkan country that is a key ally of Russia in Europe, but who also wants to join the European Union” . Recalling that Serbia did not join Western sanctions against Russia due to the accession of Crimea in 2014, AP reminds that both Poroshenko and Vucic have ordered that their countries to respect the territorial integrity of other and that they want to cooperate in efforts to join the EU.
It remains to be seen after 16th July whether these visits and contacts with Russian, US and Ukrainian officials are used only as government’s media spin in trying to present positive expectations from the meeting between Trump and Putin in terms of Serbia’s position.
Kosovo forms a negotiating team
Kosovo authorities have formed a negotiating team at a high level to engage in the final phase of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, the Pristina newspaper Koha reported yesterday. The newspaper claims that it came into possession of a copy of a confidential document defining the structure of the negotiating team and eight expert groups. The Kosovo negotiating team iselmed by the heads of institutions and leaders of parliamentary parties, and the team’s activities and the course of negotiations will be followed by a so-called strategic group, consisting of heads of parliamentary caucuses and representatives of civil society organizations, Koha added. The team also has seven expert groups covering legal issues, financial and economic affairs, demarcation of the border, reconciliation, missing persons, dissemination of information and the agreement’s implementation.
Photo credits: EPA-EFE MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV SPUTNIK KREMLIN POOL
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