Starović: We are a long way from compromise; first, we need to take out the fires Kurti is trying to ignite

27. Aug 2022.
State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nemanja Starović stated that there could be no substantial progress in the dialogue between Belgrade and Priština without the establishment of the Association of Serbian Municipalities, which was also a topic of discussion with the U.S. Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, when he said that the ASM must be established.

“There can be no sustainable political solution without the implementation of the First Framework Brussels Agreement. In order to have a new agreement or a comprehensive legally binding agreement, a necessary precondition is that the First Agreement is fully implemented. We heard similar messages from Escobar,” Starović said, while making a guest appearance on Radio-television of Serbia.

According to his words, Albin Kurti unfortunately managed to postpone the said issue by implementing unilateral measures and attempting to apply them violently.

Starović stated that we are far from a sustainable political compromise and that we are not in a situation where we could deal with core issues pertaining to normalization due to the potential for escalation on the ground due to Priština's unilateral moves.

“As President Vučić also said, we may have a problem still, even if 1 September passes peacefully in the best scenario and if there are no attempts to issue documents to Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, there still might be potential for escalation the next day, and the second, third and fourth day “, said Starović.

According to him, what is necessary, and that is exactly what President Aleksandar Vučić and the Government of Serbia are dealing with, is to preserve peace and stability, but also the safety of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.

“This precedes all the political issues that are part of the normalization process. The fire that Kurti has been trying to ignite for the last year must be prevented. Fortunately, both international mediators and partners have understood the danger posed by Kurti, and I believe that during their meetings in Priština, Mitrovica and Belgrade, their main mission was to prevent the said fire and preserve peace and stability. I want to believe that this was the key message that they conveyed in all three places," said Starović.

Starović stated that the situation in the north of Kosovo and Metohija is still very fragile, but that you can hear those kinds of consciously reassuring messages from Escobar and Lajčák saying that there must be no talk of disturbing peace and stability; that they oppose unilateral measures, and that Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija may not be treated as foreigners and burdened with additional administrative procedures.

“These are good and reassuring messages. I want to believe that both the reality and the sequence of actions of European mediators and American partners will follow this type of messages on the operational level. It is disturbing that we cannot hear anything similar in Prišina,” said Starović and stated that the representatives of temporary institutions in Priština have announced that they will start implementing unilateral measures from 1 September.

According to him, it is disturbing to see militarized mono-ethnic specialized units of Priština operating in the north of Kosovo and Metohija, ignoring the Brussels Agreement and the existence of local integrated police in the north of Kosovo and Metohija.