Under pressure from EU leaders, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić met with the president of the autonomous province of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, during the European Political Community Summit held in the Republic of Moldova. The two leaders met in an attempt to diffuse the current crisis in Kosovo.
The two leaders first met separately with EU leaders. Vučić met with French President Emmanuel Macron, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, and European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “I thanked President Macron for the firm stance and support he gave to Serbia regarding the recent events. I expressed my concerns about the recent increase in violence in the north of Kosovo,” the Serbian President told reporters. “Serbia will do its best and its utmost to de-escalate the situation, which means that we'll try to persuade Serbs to progress calmly and peacefully,” he added.
Osmani met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Macron and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. Following the meeting, Osmani’s office put out a provocatory statement saying, “The president stressed that Kosovo’s efforts to restore order in the north of the country have been challenged by illegal Serb structures, which have turned into criminal gangs backed by Vučić, who attack the Kosovo police and NATO’s Kosovo Peacekeepers.”
After the separate meetings, Vučić and Osmani met, together with EU leaders. Following the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell declared, “We have 3 clear requests: – new local elections now – ensuring the participation of Kosovo Serbs – start the work to establish the Association of Serbian Majority Municipalities w/in EU-facilitated Dialogue. Failure to do so will have serious consequences for our relations.”
The situation in Kosovo became violent last Friday when Kosovo’s prime minister Albin Kurti ordered his paramilitary police forces to forcibly install Albanian mayors in Serb-majority cities in northern Kosovo and Metohija. The mayors had been elected in sham elections boycotted by Serbs. When the unarmed Serbs peacefully protested the provocatory move, they were attacked by Kosovo police forces leading to the intervention of KFOR troops, several of whom were also wounded in the ensuing chaos.