Kosovo Eyes Consequences as Deadline for US, EU Demands Approaches

Kosovo is facing an impending decision about whether or not to accept US and EU prescriptions for the 'de-escalation' of tensions in the Serb-majority north of Kosovo after recent violent unrest, with envoys  due to report back to Washington and Brussels with Pristina's response to their demands by the end of the week.

The requests from Washington and Brussels include holding new local elections with the participation of Kosovo Serbs and the implementation of an agreement that will see the establishment of an association representing Serbs' interests in northern municipalities.

The demands have been conveyed in person this week during visits by the EU envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak, and the US envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar.

Both Escobar and Lajcak have told Kosovo that it faces "consequences" if it does not comply with the US and EU's requests.

Escobar and Lajcak held high-level meetings in Pristina and Belgrade on Monday and Tuesday as the US and EU sought to impose solutions to stabilise the tense situation that erupted into violence last week when Serbs protesting about the instalment of ethnic Albanian majors in Serb-majority municipalities attacked NATO peacekeeping troops.

Lajcak wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning after meeting Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic that "violence is never acceptable and a political solution to the current crisis is urgently needed. We appreciated his [Vucic's] readiness to contribute to it."

Escobar meanwhile told journalists on Tuesday in Pristina that the March 2023 so-called Ohrid Agreement aimed at normalising relations between Kosovo and Serbia must now be implemented, which "means that we must see real efforts from Kosovo to commit to the...

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