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Serbian media: Maybe Condoleezza, and possibly Lavrov; EU: Belgrade and Pristina decide on the format

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The Belgrade based daily Blic, in yesterday’s edition, reported that if the US introduced Condoleezza Rice in the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, Serbia would be then suggesting Russia to enter the scene, along with Sergei Lavrov, the Russian head of diplomacy.

A source of Blic from the top of the government said that there were small chances that there would be a change in the format of the dialogue, but that Serbia will definitely not sit still.

– If something is changed in Brussels, and America is included in the dialogue that would mean changing the format of the dialogue and Serbia will not allow only one party to win. Belgrade will ask Russia to be a mediator, in particular, Lavrov, who will oversee moves and talks between Serbia and Kosovo on behalf of Moscow. In that case, he would be a counterweight to the Albanian demands, and the effort to direct the mill completely to their side with the help of America – the Blic source said.

Head of Serbian diplomacy, Ivica Dacic, has already indicated this, Blic reported.

– If the format of the dialogue now changes, that would involve some other decision. Then other countries would also be asked to participate, and also Serbia would have some suggestions – announced Dacic.

Political analyst Dusan Janjic said that in any case Serbia should find a winning variant for future events in Brussels.

– The EU will continue to be the facilitator of the entire process; America should be the main negotiator, and Germany, the second. It remains to be seen whether Rice will be responsible only for Kosovo, or for the Western Balkans. It is entered into the integration of the Western Balkans and Serbia should make a consultative mechanism with Russia, but also with China – he noted.

Today the Serbian media convey the statement of spokeswoman EC, Maja Kocijancic, who told Tanjug news agency that the change of the format of the dialogue cannot happen without the consent of both sides.

“The EU is a mediator in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina; it’s on two sides to agree on content, format, speed and agenda,” European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told Tanjug.

Kocijancic reiterated that the EU and the US “work closely” on the Western Balkans, which implies the process of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

Diplomatic sources of Tanjug in Brussels say that the Western Balkans, as one of the EU’s priorities, is “part of regular communication between Brussels and Washington.”

Asked by Tanjug whether communication between Brussels and Washington was related to greater involvement of America, and also the engagement of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, both in the region and in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, sources close to the office of the EU foreign minister, Federica Mogherini, say that ” they have heard about the engagement of Condoleezza Rice only from the Serbian media.”

“For us, the situation is clear. We are mediators in the dialogue, and the dialogue is between Belgrade and Pristina, which together decide on how the dialogue will be lead,” diplomatic sources in Brussels say.

In the EU emphasize that what is being discussed is a new phase of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

“We are working on a new phase of the dialogue. We are in contact with the United States and nothing is changing from our side,” conclude diplomatic sources in Brussels for Tanjug.

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