Milivojevic: Letter addressed to the US, EU, and Great Britain, continuation of pressure on Serbia and prelude to a heated autumn
Former diplomat Zoran Milivojevic has pointed out that the letter sent to the US, Great Britain, and EU represented a continuation of pressure on Serbia and a prelude to a heated autumn, and also that the continuation of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia could not be expected without substantial de-escalation in the north, RTS reported.
Milivojevic highlights that this letter has several aspects, with the first being a continuation of pressure on Serbia.
"It is quite clear from the content of the letter and the context in which it appeared. Another important point to mention now is that it is fully exposed that Kurti has external support. This is no longer a secret, and it doesn't need to be a subject of political assessments or speculation," Milivojevic stated.
As he emphasizes, the third aspect is that the most significant signatories of this letter are the heads of foreign policy committees of the US Senate, the British Parliament, and the German Parliament.
Regarding the transfer of pressure to Serbia, Milivojevic says that Belgrade has long been faced with the fact that both sides are always treated equally.
"This letter directly aligns with the effort to bring Serbia to the table, to assist, I would say in quotes, Kurti, at this moment when he's under these pressures, and in a way, an appeal to lift sanctions from Kurti and to equate him and Serbia in terms of responsibility for the continuation of dialogue. That's why I say this is a continuation of pressure on Serbia and a prelude to a heated autumn," Milivojevic said.
He adds that the letter also attempts to discredit Serbia in terms of its international position and foreign policy, not only targeting Kosovo but also having an anti-Russian character.
"This is evident from the fact that the main signatories are representatives from the Baltic countries. So, Ukrainians appear for the first time, which is somewhat surprising but also not surprising, considering there is a faction in the Ukrainian parliament advocating for the recognition of Kosovo and pressuring Serbia in relation to Russia's policies," Milivojevic stated.
The Ministry of Industry, Economy, and Trade of Kosovo annulled the registration and operating certificates of 15 companies in Kosovo, including MTS D.O.O., because of "documents contrary to constitutional principles."
Milivojevic notes that Serbia has all the arguments on its side, and the international community is being tested for tolerating that.
"This is a serious test because there's less and less room for Serbia not to react in a more direct way, to protect the Serbian people, and to prevent a policy that only exacerbates tensions," Milivojevic said.
He says Kurti is attempting two things and has support for it.
"First, he's trying to fully implement his political creed, which is to confirm Kosovo's statehood even by force. So, achieving political goals and using force. Ignoring rights and everything else. And second, to exclude Serbia fully, in every sense and aspect, from the territory of Kosovo and Metohija. Every Serbian action, every Serbian presence, including the people if possible. That's Kurti's goal, and it's now evident from these actions, about these goods, and everything else," Milivojevic noted.
Regarding the meeting between UK Envoy Stuart Peach and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, Milivojevic notes that Peach's views are in line with Great Britain's traditional policy toward the region.
"Especially now, considering that it's no longer an EU member, acting independently as a great power, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and traditionally interested in the region in the context of its policy towards Russia. This has been a fact for two centuries, and it's not accidental that President Vucic emphasized bilateral relations, interest in the region, and everything else after the talks. Therefore, we should expect an active British presence in this region in the future," Milivojevic stated.
When asked about the expectations for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue after September 7th, Milivojevic responds that if de-escalation doesn't happen, optimism about the continuation of the dialogue can't be expected.
"De-escalation is necessary and it needs to be done properly, not in a phased or fragmented way as it's being done now, but to achieve what constitutes the essence of de-escalation, which is removing all these police, parapolice, ROSU forces, sidelining illegitimate mayors, creating conditions for a peaceful life, ending repression, and forming the Community of Serb Municipalities. Without that, I believe we can't talk about de-escalation or conditions for continuing the dialogue," Milivojevic said.