Serwer: I see no sign that Serbia is prepared to recognize Kosovo - Gazeta Express

Serwer: I see no sign that Serbia is prepared to recognize Kosovo

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Gazeta Express

16/12/2020 14:14

Daniel Serwer, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and expert on Balkans affairs is skeptical that the new US administration under Joe Biden will be able to convince Serbia to recognize Kosovo. Serwer in an interview with Gazeta Express says that a final agreement between the two countries means exchange of ambassadors, which as he sees as a definition of a “final” agreement.  

Serwer also said that the EU is not doing enough pressure on Serbia to stop the abusive language of Serbian state officials or about their encouragement to hide mass graves.

Gazeta Express: Do you think that the administration of the president-elect Joe Biden will resolve the disputes between Kosovo and Serbia in 2021 by signing a final agreement?

Daniel Serwer: I don’t know. It depends mainly on Serbia. I see no sign at present that President Vucic is prepared to recognize Kosovo and exchange ambassadors, which is my definition of a “final” agreement.

Gazeta Express: What is your opinion about the political stalemate regarding the election of the president in Kosovo, do you think that political parties will find a name for president or the new elections are inevitable and be held in accordance with the constitutional deadline?

Daniel Serwer: I do hope the constitutional deadline will be respected. It is not hard to find a name for president. What is difficult is getting the required number of votes. That hasn’t happened yet.

Gazeta Express: Do you think that Specialized Chambers of Kosovo will bring justice by judging only Albanians for the wartime?

Daniel Serwer: The focus of the Special Chambers is on the post-war period, which was not covered by ICTY. Many of the crimes in the post-war period inside Kosovo were perpetrated by Albanians, as the Serb security forces were gone (except for the north). Those crimes, as is clear from the indictments so far, were committed against both Albanians and Serbs. ICTY, which had a mandate only for crimes committed during the war, indicted Serbs as well as Albanians.

Gazeta Express: Are you optimistic that the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia will result in mutual recognition between the two countries?

Daniel Serwer: No. I want it to happen, but I don’t see any sign yet that it will in the foreseeable future.

Gazeta Express: Do you think that the EU is not putting enough pressure on Serbia so that its state officials do not use racist terms against Kosovo and giving information about the mass graves in different locations in Serbia?

Daniel Serwer: No, I haven’t heard clear enough messages from the EU about the abusive language of Serbian state officials or about their encouragement to hide mass graves.