Starović: Lajčak and Borell were convinced that it was almost impossible to conduct talks with Kurti

18. Aug 2022.
State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nemanja Starović said that we could see from the address delivered by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borell the optimism of the mediators in the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština had faded, which was a reason for a serious concern about what might await us due to Albin Kurti's unilateral moves.

"Lajčak and Borell were once again convinced today that it was almost impossible to conduct talks in a situation when, as opposed to Vučić on the other side of the table, you have Kurti, who does not believe in a dialogue. Kurti’s only perspective and clear plan were comprised in the idea of ​​implementing unilateral measures based on the arbitrary interpretation of previously reached agreements. Kurti believes that the geopolitical circumstances are in his favour and wants to use them for the realization of his maximalist goals," Secretary Starović said in a guest appearance on the Radio Television of Serbia.

The Secretary Starović stated that unlike the optimism expressed by the mediators before the meetings, there was no optimism on the Serbian side and that the President Aleksandar Vučić himself said, before leaving for Brussels, that although he was going to the meetings in good faith, he still had no expectations.

According to the Secretary Starović, we could not learn much from Borell's address and we would have to wait for the announced address of the President Vučić. The Secretary Starović pointed that there was a reason for serious concern, because Borell expressed that there was no progress in the negotiations.

"If we draw a parallel with the meeting held on 19 July last year, which ended in an identical way, without reaching any agreement and was followed by a whole series of unilateral measures introduced by Kurti, we fear that we are nearing likewise further development of the situation," the Secretary Starović stated.

Bearing in mind the pattern of Kurti's actions in carrying out unilateral moves, the Secretary Starović stated that the issue was not essentially about identity cards or license plates, but about the clear intention and plan of Kurti to knowingly provoke an escalation on the field at any cost, under any pretext. As the Secretary Starović pointed, at the phase in which we were at the moment, with low expectations and in the absence of any progress in dialogue, bearing in the mind the unilateral measures as Kurti's pattern of behaviour, the scenario we could expect was a new attempt by Priština to apply force in the north of Kosovo and that it was very important how Kfor would behave in that situation.

"I hope that yesterday’s talks with Stoltenberg were substantial and that they will result in a clear positioning of Kfor in case of any new escalation that we can expect from Kurti, unfortunately" Secretary Starović.

The State Secretary Starović also noted that he was certain that President Vučić insisted on final implementation of the Brussels Agreement and starting the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities. The Secretary Starović added that it was not possible to skip the step of forming the Community of Serb Municipalities, which was quite clear to Kurti, especially now, after the statement given by the US Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar and the US Ambassador to Serbia, Christopher Hill.

 "Kurti is aware that there can be no talk of reaching a comprehensive agreement without the prior formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities. That is the reason why Kurti rejects the Brussels process and resorts to unilateral moves. Kurti wants to knowingly cause some kind of escalation so that Serbia responds in one way or another which would, on the other hand, automatically provoke a predetermined reaction from the political West to protect Priština, oppose Serbia and return us to the situation we had back in 1999. That is Kurti's idea and clear plan. Hope remains that his calculation is still wrong. For this reason, it is important what kind of messages Kurti received from Stoltenberg yesterday," pointed Secretary Starović.

The Secretary Starović emphasized that it was very important to see through Kurti's game and that Serbs in the north of Kosovo and Metohija remained united and responsible in the coming days, like the 31 July and not react in a way that would give Kurti any kind of reason or excuse to continue with his unilateral moves with the intention of introducing political, legal and physical violence against our compatriots in Kosovo and Metohija.