Analyst Janusz Bugajski from Washington Center for European Policy Analysis does not exclude a possibility that Kosovo issue is resolved by changing the borders, Tanjug news agency reports.
“Let’s see if both sides are serious, and the way I understood it, in line with such agreement, Serbia should recognize Kosovo as an independent state. Serbia should change its Constitution even before correction of borders is made,” Bugajski said.
In an interview to Radio Free Europe, Bugajski also commented on disagreements between Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj when it comes to the border correction, saying he would not place major significance to this, since “much of that could be a strategic game.”
He also wondered if Serbia is ready to hand over any part of the Presevo valley, since Kosovo Government would not unilaterally divide the country. “It has to be a bilateral agreement and it must have international supervision, while the people affected by that would also have to be closely involved in the entire project,” Bugajski said, adding “that you cannot simply change the borders, and affect the lives of the people, without their involvement, their contribution to the process.”
He also considers the Belgrade-Pristina dispute can be resolved, in a same manner as Athens and Skopje resolved theirs, if the European Union and USA “strengthen engagement” in the Balkans. He noted that the EU alone cannot do much, since all Balkans states rely on USA, in particular Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, while Serbia sees US as a crucial player.
He said the goals of the US remain the same, however some of the strategies have changed. The change could be seen in relation to the border correction between Kosovo and Serbia, since “before it was an obvious red line for the American diplomats.”
He added the US role would continue, since much was invested, in diplomatic, political, economic and military sense regarding the security in the region, so he does not believe the US would withdraw without complete agreements that would push the Balkans towards the EU and NATO.
He also spoke about the Russian role in the Balkans, arguing it has always had a reserve position. “Its first position is to prevent those countries to join NATO and the EU. When it does not succeed, Russia continues with efforts to weaken these countries, and it makes sense, because it shows that not even a NATO membership can provide security (…),” Bugajski said.