The Serbs of Kosovo claim: Pristina opposes the creation of the ZSO

Photo: Kosovo online

Serbs living in the north claim that Pristina opposes the creation of an "association of Serbian municipalities".

In northern Kosovo, there are four towns with a Serbian majority, Severna Mitrovica, Leposavic, Zvecan and Zubin Potok.

In this area with a majority Serb population in Kosovo, Srpska Lista, the only political party of the Serbian community, dominates, Euronews writes.

Pristina claims that this party is directly instructed by Belgrade, especially by the nationalist-conservative Serbian president Vucic.

The Kosovo government maintains that the local Serbs are acting together with Belgrade, which means it does not want to make concessions on the autonomy of Serbian territories.

"We don't want the northern part of our country to be transformed into some kind of Republika Srpska," said left-wing nationalist Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, referring to the autonomous Serb entity in Bosnia Herzegovina.

Kosovo cannot accept an integrated and autonomous Serbian administration on its territory along the border with Serbia, a country that does not recognize its independence.

Meanwhile, Serbs fear that by severing ties with their homeland, they could become second-class citizens in a country that discriminates against them.

The Council of Europe and Kosovo - a new blow for Belgrade

Kosovo has recently achieved relative political success.

On April 17, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe approved a recommendation that Kosovo become its 47th member state, sparking outrage in Belgrade.

President Vucic said that "if Kosovo enters the CE, Serbia is ready to question its own membership.

Serbia carried out massive military exercises on its borders with Kosovo to show its deep disappointment at the decision by the Strasbourg-based human rights organization.

The decision of the CE assembly was made after Kosovo returned the land belonging to the Decani monastery to the SOC.

International organizations have asked the Kosovo authorities to take this step.

EU, Serbia and Russia

In December 2023, Serbian President Vucic stated that he "does not think it is possible for the Ohrid Agreement to be included in Chapter 35, as it would de facto mean closing the door of the EU to Serbia".

According to the April 2022 IPSOS poll, the number of Serbs who oppose EU membership for the first time outnumber those who support it.

This poll found that a majority of Serbs think the EU is dragging its feet when it comes to enlargement, with the bloc reluctant to admit new members.

The lack of faith of the Serbs in Brussels seems to reflect some truth.

A recent IPSOS/Euronews poll from March 2024 found that a majority of EU voters are against further enlargement of the union.

Relations between Serbia, the EU and NATO have suffered over Russia's invasion of Ukraine after Belgrade did not join EU sanctions against Moscow - despite its bid.

Western capitals see Kosovo as a potential source of instability in the heart of Europe.

Belgrade and Pristina do not trust each other. Both sides are afraid to make concessions that could be betrayed by the other side.

Kosovo's security is ensured by the presence of NATO and the EU's support for organizations that promote the rule of law.

However, the "specter" of volatility looms large.

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