Serbia halted EU-sponsored talks with Kosovo

  • Jakub Maděránek
  • 16.1.2018 21:03

An unknown perpetrator shot prominent Kosovar-Serbian politician Oliver Ivanovic on Tuesday 16 January, in front of his office in Mitrovica, northern Kosovo. In response to this event, Serbia has cancelled technical-level negotiations with Kosovo, which have been supported by the EU since 2013, and which were thought to lead to the normalization of tense relations between the two countries. The very same day, the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina was forced to resume in order for both countries to meet EU demands for their own ambitions for membership.

Both countries, in response to the assassination of Ivanovic, convened an emergency session of the National Security Council, with Serbian and Kosovar political elites calling for the immediate capture of offenders in order to avoid further escalation of mutual relations. Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj later alleged the actors outside the Kosovo border were responsible for the murder. The very question of Kosovo and its relations with Serbia is a long-standing obstacle to the integration process of either country. Importantly, to calmly resolve the situation regarding the integration of the Western Balkans, is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian EU Council Presidency. Restarting the dialogue is viewed as unlikely until the investigation into the murder is completed and the culprit is caught. In addition, the incident threatens international peacekeeping missions, along with rule-of-law missions that are criticized for overlooking local organized crime.

About author: Jakub Maděránek

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