Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has assured the parliament on Monday “to recognize” that Kosovo is an independent country and thus seek to normalize relations almost 20 years after its effective secession.
“We need to recognize that we have been defeated, we have lost the territory” of Kosovo, Vucic said during a monographic session on Kosovo. “I do not want to continue with lies and deception, I have told everyone: there is no Serbian authority in Kosovo, except for hospitals and schools,” he said.
Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, almost a decade after the Albanian majority achieved effective secession thanks to NATO’s military support. However, the Constitution of Serbia continues to see Kosovo as an integral part of its territory and blocks the entry of the new country into institutions such as Interpol or UNESCO and maintains its economic contributions for the Serbian-Kosovar minority.
Spain is among the countries that do not recognize the independence of Kosovo, as is also the case of Russia and, until now and officially, Serbia.
At the political level, this independence of Kosovo has become a taboo, since this region is considered the cradle of the Serbian nation and the majority Orthodox Christian faith in the country. In 2013 Kosovo and Serbia agreed to open a dialogue sponsored by the EU to address issues of mutual interest and boost the integration of both in the EU. However, little progress has been made.
“We have two options: to normalize relations by reaching an agreement or to maintain a cold conflict,” added Vucic, who tries to maintain Serbia’s aspirations to the EU without breaking its close relations with Russia and China. However, he has acknowledged that it may be years before an agreement is reached.