BRUSSELS – European Commission spokesman Peter Stano confirmed today that “the chief negotiators” from Belgrade and Pristina would be meeting in Brussels this week, N1 reports.
“The chief negotiators from both sides will be coming to Brussels to use the dialogue platform to discuss the way forward and the way forward means de-escalation,” he told a daily news briefing.
Earlier, Radio Free Europe said that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Gabriel Escobar is due in Brussels next week to discuss the situation in Kosovo with European Union officials. Escobar took over from Matthew Palmer as the senior State Department envoy for Kosovo in August.
For the eighth day in a row, Serbs from Kosovo are blocking the roads to the Jarinje and Brnjak crossings, which can only be crossed on foot, news agency Beta reports. They began the protest when the government in Pristina sent special forces of the Kosovo police to Jarinje and Brnjak in order to implement the decision on confiscation and replacement of Serbian license plates.
Due to the situation in the north of Kosovo, the Serbian Army is in a state of increased combat readiness, and its combat aircraft have flown over the area near the Jarinje crossing on several occasions in the past three days.
Vučić meets with Quint ambassadors
The ambassadors of the Quint countries requested the “de-escalation of the crisis” in the north of Kosovo at the meeting with the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, in Belgrade, his cabinet announced today.
At the meeting with the ambassadors of the USA, Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany, and the head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Vučić “explained the position of Serbia”, the announcement reads.
“We are committed to preserving peace and respecting the Brussels agreement, but we will by no means allow the humiliation of either Serbia or its citizens,” Vučić said.
Rama visits Kosovo, condemns the actions of Serbia’s military
Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama said that Serbia’s recent military actions at their border with Kosovo resemble ‘theatrical manoeuvers that elicit vandal nationalism’.
During a joint press conference with his counterpart in Kosovo, Albin Kurti, PM Rama considered Serbia’s reaction unfair, by emphasizing that Kosovo has simply asked to implement an arrangement of “reciprocity that had been previously agreed upon”, Euronews Albania reports.
“Those [military] maneuvers don’t protect Serbian citizens in northern Kosovo, as is being alleged […] Serbian citizens are living their lives, unthreatened by anyone. In fact, their electricity bills are covered for, something that is completely unprecedented in the rest of the Balkans or anywhere in Europe,” – argued Rama.
Albania’s PM also said that Tirana’s official stance is clear – the sides should resolve this matter through dialogue and that this recent occurrence has repositioned Kosovo within the dialogue, granting it its rightful equal status.