Russia’s participation in the negotiation process between Serbia and the self-proclaimed Kosovo could move it from a dead point, said Elena Panina, member of the State Duma’s Committee on Foreign Affairs.
“For twenty years, the United States of America and the European Union have not done anything to solve the most pressing problems between Belgrade and Pristina. When the“ arbiters ”hear only one side – Kosovo, then any negotiations are a priori doomed to failure,” Panina told RIA Novosti.
The deputy noted that Russia has vast experience in unraveling the most complex geopolitical and interethnic contradictions.
“The potential of Russia will help to move the process off the ground. Moscow, as a negotiating platform, can suit everyone who is interested in normalizing in the center of Europe, where for many years there has been a reign of law,” the State Duma deputy said.
In 1999, the armed confrontation of Albanian separatists from the Liberation Army of Kosovo and the army and police of Serbia led to the bombing of Yugoslavia (at that time consisting of Serbia and Montenegro) by NATO forces. In March 2004, Kosovo Albanians staged pogroms, which led to the mass resettlement of Serbs from the region and the destruction of numerous monuments of their history and culture. On February 17, 2008, the Kosovo-Albanian structures in Pristina unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. The self-proclaimed republic is not recognized by Serbia, Russia, China, Israel, Iran, Spain, Greece and a number of other states.
Serbia’s leadership, under pressure from Brussels and to bring the region closer to the European Union, as well as to make life easier in the region, Serb citizens in 2011 was forced to start negotiations on normalizing relations with Kosovo Albanians through EU mediation. However, after the introduction in November 2018 by the authorities in Pristina of 100% trade duties on goods from Serbia, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, the dialogue was suspended.