Two decades into Europe’s biggest unresolved dispute, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić says it’s time for a deal on Kosovo, writes Bloomberg.
But he added that this would be exceptionally difficult. Vučić poke for the US agency during the Munich Security Conference, to say that task will be harder than the Greece-Macedonia deal, and will first have to see cancellation of Priština’s taxes on Serbian goods increased by 100 percent, and a free flow of people and goods.
“It’s going to be worse-than-hell difficult,” the president said.
According to the agency, “that would allow both sides to join the EU and, at least in Kosovo’s case, NATO.”
“We both know what we want. It’s not as far as it looks,” said Vučić, and that “both leaders will have to explain to voters that neither side will get everything it wants.”
“While Serbia’s vista is the potential economic boost of joining EU, Kosovo is looking to cement its independence and Europe wants to increase stability in the Balkans,” Bloomberg writes, and adds:
“Thaci and Vučić had appeared close to a deal last summer, but the prospect that it might include a land swap in the Balkans, the scene of Europe’s worst fighting since World War II, prompted pushback. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it would open a Pandora’s box, though the US. has been more receptive.!
“Russia and China, who’d support whatever stance Belgrade takes. Even so, Russia is wary of supporting any deal that could speed Serbia’s EU membership and further reduce its dwindling regional footprint.” Bloomberg said.
The obstacles came into focus when Vučić and Thaci sat down in Munich on Saturday for a rare public debate. “At times, the conversation descended into recriminations about past killings and rapes during the two sides’ conflict. At least they were ‘absolutely ope’” with each other, Vučić said,” Bloomberg writes.