Serbia and Kosovo “agree on almost anything” when they sit down for peace talks in Brussels tomorrow. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said this afternoon after exploratory talks at NATO that the Serbian president expects “difficult talks”.
Tomorrow’s talks, led by Josep Borrell, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, aim to counter tensions as the Kosovo government in Pristina makes another attempt early next month to force Kosovo Serbs to use license plates and travel documents from Kosovo. This also led to major tensions at the end of last month because many Serbs still see Kosovo as part of Serbia and do not want to be recognized as an independent country.
According to Serbian Vucic, Pristina is fanning the fire, including stories of Serbian invasion plans. “We’ve been hearing about that for months, but nothing has happened yet.” Vucic also denied that he needed “foreign” (read: Russian) help to build additional security bases. “What we need is a rational approach and compromise through conversations.”
NATO President Jens Stoltenberg held separate talks with Vucic and Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti, and then held separate press conferences with them. Stoltenberg said that NATO would not allow the conflicts between Pristina and Belgrade to lead to new conflicts in the Balkans or worse. According to Stoltenberg, the peacekeeping force “KFOR” of about 4,000 soldiers, which is mandated by the United Nations to ensure stability in the region, “intervenes when necessary” and is expanded if necessary.
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