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BODO WEBER WARNS KURTIJ: ‘If Serbia recognizes Kosovo, Pristina will not join the UN!’ (VIDEO)

Political scientist and expert on the Balkans Bodo Weber believes that even if Serbia agreed to the final agreement and recognition of Kosovo, Kosovo would probably get everything, except membership in the United Nations, “even if it is supported by Serbia, Russia will certainly not agree”. He assesses that the new Franco-German proposal is actually an interim agreement, after the phase of crisis and impasse in which the dialogue fell in the last five years, and that the goal is to return the focus from some lower bilateral issues to the dialogue on essential issues, which is the status dispute. Also, the problem is that the public did not have an insight into the entire proposal of the agreement, and that it is not clear whether the two parties had the same version of the document in front of them.

Asked to comment on the new “non-paper” published by the Albanian Post, in which it is stated that both Kosovo and Serbia will bear the consequences if they do not accept the Franco-German plan, he says that he would be careful, because that media had previously published ” exclusive documents that later turned out not to be authentic”.

Referring to the statement of the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić that Serbia is threatened with sanctions if it does not agree to the agreement, he points out that he would also be careful here, but adds that he thinks there will be certain consequences, as announced by various European officials, in the form of reduced economic aid.

As for the freezing or cancellation of Serbia’s negotiation process with the EU, he states that he has not seen any confirmation of this so far.

“There are certain spins and exaggerations, there is certainly pressure on Belgrade and Pristina”, says Bodo Weber in the show “Iza vesti”.

Asked to comment on the assessments of some analysts that Belgrade and Pristina have no motive to sign the agreement because there is neither a “stick nor a carrot” for them, he disagrees.

“It has a certain stick in the sense that with the beginning of the war in Ukraine, that level of looking through Serbia’s fingers because of the policy of sitting on two chairs no longer has such tolerance, and if there was a failure of this initiative, it would certainly have some effect, would it lead to an interruption of pre-accession negotiations, as the European Parliament has repeatedly requested, that should wait”, believes Weber.

He adds that as far as carrots are concerned – “it is certainly one part of increased economic support for both Serbia and Kosovo”.

When asked what stage the negotiations are in, he said that “since everything is taking place behind closed doors, even that is not clear, but when you look at the statements of European officials… you had the impression that Belgrade and Pristina should still sign the agreement”.

However, he assesses that it is not clear whether the participants had the same version of the document in front of them.

“(EU Special Envoy Miroslav) Lajcak mentioned the 11-point agreement during his surprise visit to Kosovo, while Kurti talked about the 10-point agreement just a day or two later. “Apparently no one is clear about which version is being negotiated,” he concludes.

But he points out that secrecy itself does not have to be disputed in such sensitive negotiations, while it is more disputed whether the agreement will lead to the goal in terms of substance and procedure.

He points out that the key element of the final agreement and the end of the entire dialogue is the recognition of Kosovo by Serbia.

As for Kosovo’s membership in the UN, he says that it is an “ideological part, a twisted point”.

“Even if Serbia would agree to the final agreement and recognition of Kosovo, Kosovo will probably get everything, except for membership in the UN, even if it is supported by Serbia, Russia will certainly not agree,” he says.

When asked whether it is more important for Kosovo to be recognized by Serbia or, for example, Spain, one of the five EU members that does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, he states that even if Lajčak can ensure that some of the EU countries that do not recognize Kosovo change their minds, which is announces as a “carrot” for Pristina, “Spain will certainly not be among them, it will be Greece rather than Spain”.

And as to whether there is an option not to form the JSO, which Kurti rejects even though the international community is determined that this is an obligation signed by Pristina in Brussels, he says that “this is also a completely unclear point in this Franco-German proposal”.

“Whether the ZSO is a prerequisite for signing the agreement or if it is part of the package of that new agreement, we have conflicting statements. The problem with the JSO is that it is a topic on which the dialogue was stuck seven years ago,” he warns and asks that whether the community will have executive powers or not cannot be resolved without a clear determination by Western negotiators.

Asked who is more constructive – Vučić or Kurti – Weber states that it seems from the recent visit of the five to Belgrade and Pristina that the West has decided that the problem is in Pristina, not in Belgrade, “and it seems that this is the result of Belgrade’s tactical approach, that Belgrade is acting as if it is conceptual from some calculations that the negotiations will fail and that the blame will be on Pristina”.

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