The whole world is oriented towards the coronavirus pandemic. However, although attention is focused on that, the geopolitical sphere is still rolling.
This is exactly what “Friends of Europe”, an organization for which they write and do research, as they say, top journalists and associates do in order to ensure impartiality.
In the new video for “Keeping an Eye on the Geopolitical Ball”, which was released a few days ago, the host Jamie Shea, a senior fellow “Friends of Europe””, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary-General of NATO. He spoke about relations in the Balkans, problems, with special reference to the relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
- Most schoolchildren, at least when I went to school in the UK back in the 60s, when they learning about the Western Balkans, came across a famous phrase of Winston Churchill which was that the problem with the Balkans is that they produced more history than they consumed. The Balkans seem to be bad news. This was certainly the case in the 1990s when for nearly a decade Yugoslavia collapsed in a series of brutal ethnic conflicts. First in Slovenia, then in Croatia and in Bosnia and finally, in what today we call at the time a province in Serbia along the way these conflicts produced in Bosnia over 100’000 dead, over 2 million displaced and in Kosovo 13’000 dead but since the end of those conflicts and since the turn of the century the region has been doing much better. – says Shea.
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He added that there is one political despot in the region who is holding back progress, especially economic and political recovery.
- The refusal of Serbia to recognize Kosovo, its former province, which declared its independence in 2008 and which has been recognized by over 100 countries in the world. Since the non-recognition by Serbia has meant that other countries, particularly in the European Union have also refused to recognize Kosovo – Shea said in the video.
He referred to the relations between Russia and Serbia and how they work together in the failure of Kosovo to join international organizations, but also many other problems that Kosovo and its citizens are facing.
He also reminded of the recent invitation of the United States of America to host the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo, Aleksandar Vučić and Hashim Thaci, in Washington.
- “Vučić has just been re-elected in Serbia with a big majority and hopefully, on that basis he would be able now to show statesmanship and move,” added Shea.
I certainly believe that the EU should not admit Serbia as a full member until it has resolved its issue with Kosovo and also made it clear that it will not itself block Kosovo’s accession to the EU later – Shea said.
He reminded that the meeting in Washington was not held due to President Thaci’s accusations of war crimes.
- I hope that that momentum will not be lost because this would be the first time in 19 months that (the presidents of) Kosovo and Serbia would meet and speak together – he pointed out.