Berlin Summit Fails to Restart Stalled Kosovo-Serbia Talks
Monday's Berlin Summit on the Western Balkans ended without a hoped-for breakthrough in restarting EU-mediated talks between Kosovo and Serbia, making it unlikely that a mutually binding agreement to normalise relations will be reached this year.
Although Germany and France said they will be getting involved in efforts alongside the European Commission in its attempts to push Serbia and Kosovo into continuing their currently-stalled negotiations, the next meeting on the issue will only be held at the start of July.
Belgrade and Pristina are locked in an ongoing dispute over Kosovo's decision last November to impose 100 per cent tariffs on Serbian goods in retaliation for Serbian lobbying against Kosovo's membership of Interpol.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said after the meeting that revoking the tariffs was Serbia's only request, while Kosovo officials insisted that Belgrade should grant full recognition of its former province's independence.
"In essence… we will have a new meeting in Paris on July 1 or 2, when we will try to find a solution for the continuation of the dialogue," Vucic told Serbian media.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, who has previously called for the revoking of the tariffs, which have drawn criticism from the US and the EU, fully endorsed the imposition of the financial penalties after Monday's meeting in Berlin.
"If Serbia continues with its aggressive actions, we will only take additional measures and will answer reciprocally," Thaci said after speaking with the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.
He also called for the US to be included in the EU-mediated dialogue, saying that a final agreement with Serbia is far off.
"There are no negotiations, dialogue or agreement without the...