11th Dec 2019

Russia and Serbia reject new Kosovo resolution

Russia and Serbia have rejected the latest EU and US plan for status resolution in Kosovo, with the west suggesting 120 days of fresh talks that would automatically end in Kosovo's independence.

The new draft UN security council resolution - seen by AP - urges UN head Ban Ki Moon "to immediately convoke the parties to continue final status negotiations within the 120-day period following adoption of the resolution."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

But it says that if Belgrade and Pristina cannot reach agreement in this period, the Martti Ahtisaari plan, which gives Kosovo full independence under temporary supervision by EU and NATO forces, should take effect.

"Any attempt to hide the project of the province's independence behind the idea of putting-off the resolution for a few months is unacceptable," Serb prime minister Vojislav Kostunica said after the plan emerged Wednesday (20 June).

"If the aim of a new resolution is to hold new talks but only so as to try and squeeze through Kosovo's postponed independence, I am completely certain the security council will reject any such resolution," he added.

Russia, a veto-holding power in the UN, backed Mr Kostunica's analysis. "We will not work on this draft," Russian ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, said, Russian state newswire Ria Novosti reports.

"The new draft of the Kosovo resolution brings us no closer to a platform that could be used to reach an agreement [on Kosovo]," the senior diplomat added.

Speaking to Finnish TV station YLE, Martti Ahtisaari himself predicted the new idea would not fly, while suggesting the end of the year as a realistic deadline for trying to resolve the international row over the province.

Kosovo - home to 1.8 million ethnic Albanians and over 100,000 ethnic Serbs - was taken over by the UN in 1999 after NATO intervened to stop a Serb crackdown on the Albanian side in a brutal civil war.

The EU and US are keen to grant the status independence, but the 1999 UN resolution 1244 on Serb territorial integrity stands in the way of legalising the western political drive.

The EU is also engaged in a parallel process of gradual integration with Serbia, with Brussels hoping the prospect of EU accession will soften Serb nationalist feeling and pave the way to a solution on Kosovo.

Serbia aims for 2011 EU entry

The integration talks restarted last week after a year-long freeze over Serb non-compliance on war criminals, with Serb deputy PM and EU integration negotiator on Wednesday naming 2011 as an EU accession target.

"If we succeed in this [deep reforms], it means that Serbia - I have absolutely no doubt - will be EU-compatible and EU-ready at the end of the mandate of the current government, that is the beginning of 2011," he said, AFP writes.

Enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn this week gave details of the EU's €4 billion 2007 to 2009 financial package for the region, with Serbia (€572 million) to be the second biggest beneficiary after Turkey (€1.6 billion).

But the German EU presidency has made clear the issue of war crimes suspects is not over yet.

"The EU presidency appeals to all relevant parties to maintain the current momentum and ensure that all those who have been indicted but are still at large, especially Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, are arrested and transferred to the [war crimes court in The Hague]," it said in a statement the same day the aid package was unveiled.

Guns blaze in Ukraine as leaders meet in Paris

Hundreds of explosions and bursts of small arms fire were reported on the contact line in east Ukraine, as France prepares to host the first peace summit on the war in three years.


Russia makes big promises to Arctic peoples on expansion

The Arctic future conference kicked off with optimistic presentations by ministers and officials of the Russian government — but also a burst of scepticism from representatives of those actually living in Russia's Arctic and Far East regions.

Macron spars with US and Turkey over Nato

French president Emmanuel Macron clashed with US president Donald Trump and Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Nato, as the future of the alliance begins to fray following Ankara's invasion into north-east Syria in October.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary asked to apologise after council leak
  2. MEPs: Finnish budget proposal 'impossible to implement'
  3. EP committee supports 'Future of EU Conference'
  4. EU survey: climate change must be parliament's priority
  5. Zahradil resigns as rapporteur on EU-Vietnam trade deal
  6. Russia plans 'Arctic Air Defence" with S-400 missiles
  7. Belgium: King does another round of consultations
  8. Thousands protest Orban's theatre clampdown


EU diplomacy 2.0

MEPs on the foreign affairs committee ought to be like second-tier EU diplomats on the Western Balkans and Russia, according to its German chairman, but foreign policy splits could bedevil its work.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Hungary quizzed over EU rules amid twitter row
  2. Spanish King meets party leaders to break deadlock
  3. EU alarmed by prospects of battle for Tripoli
  4. EU must manage climate and industry together
  5. Does Malta's Labour Party now belong in S&D?
  6. Green Deal targets pit Left against Right in parliament
  7. Human rights abusers to face future EU blacklists
  8. Zahradil 'conflict of interest' probe may flounder

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  2. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  3. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us