The current state of the Kosovo status issue: normalization of relations without conflict resolution?

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The current state of the Kosovo status issue: normalization of relations without conflict resolution?
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 1 (64) . P. 167-182
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2023-1-167-182

Abstract. The article analyzes the dynamics of the new escalation in the Kosovo conflict, including the agenda for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and the agreements achieved in 2023. The impact of the European security crisis and Russia’s confrontation with the West on the Kosovo negotiation process is evaluated. It is concluded that escalation of the crisis in the early 2020s is linked to attempts undertaken by the Pristina authorities, with the support from the European Union and the United States, to finalize the statehood of the partially recognized republic and to establish Pristina’s sovereignty over the entire territory of the Kosovo region, while avoiding guaranteeing safety, civil, and political rights of the Serbian population residing there. Currently, the key issues of the negotiations are the ways to normalize relations between the Kosovo and Metohija Serbs and the authorities in Pristina, the return of the Serbs to the unified Kosovo police and administrative and political institutions, as well as the establishment of the Community of Serbian Municipalities. The agreements reached in February and March 2023 under the EU auspices outline a long-term perspective for conflict resolution, linking success in establishing inter-communal relations with the progress of Serbia’s and Kosovo’s European integration, but do not offer a clear path to achieving substantial agreements on the region’s status in the short term. The growing confrontation between Russia and the West (including the EU, the United States, and NATO) negatively affects the reconciliation process by intensifying confrontational rhetoric and enhancing the risk of escalating violence.

Keywords: Serbia, Kosovo, Belgrade, Pristina, inter-communal relations, conflict resolution, Western Balkans, European Union, NATO, United States, Russia


About author

Polina Sokolova is a Research Fellow at the Department of European Political Studies, Primakov National Research Institute of the World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Moscow.


Registered in System SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Sokolova P. The current state of the Kosovo status issue: normalization of relations without conflict resolution? // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 1 (64) . P. 167-182. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2023-1-167-182



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