New tensions between Serbia and Kosovo were apparently sparked by a sequence of events that led to the withdrawal of Serbian officials from Kosovo institutions and the construction of roadblocks by Serbs in northern Kosovo. Nevertheless, the main reason for the escalation of tension is the refusal of the political leadership of the Albanians in Kosovo to create the Union of Serbian Municipalities (UNS). This provision was an outgrowth of the Brussels Agreement of 2013. For Belgrade, the implementation of the NAP is a cornerstone of Serbian foreign policy in relation to the Kosovo issue.
Nevertheless, for a more complete understanding of Serbian foreign policy, it is necessary to examine domestic factors as well. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has come under heavy criticism from part of the Serbian opposition and pro-Russian political groups; they oppose any deal with Kosovo, which contradicts the principle of keeping it an autonomous Serbian province.
Amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine and the risk of exporting the crisis to other Balkan countries, an opportunity is emerging to settle the Kosovo issue. The aim of the EU and the US is to seize the present moment, which could eventually lead to the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
Read the full Policy Brief authored by Geopolitical Cyprus associate Michalis Foulias for the Institute of Studies for Politics and Democracy here.