Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated in Belgrade on Thursday (18 June) that Moscow would continue to support all contacts and initiatives that would help Belgrade and Pristina reach a mutually acceptable solution to the Kosovo issue based on UN Security-Council Resolution 1244.
After meeting Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Lavrov said this resolution from 1999 confirmed the territorial integrity of Serbia, that this provision had been included on Russia's proposal, and added that a solution to the Kosovo issue should be sought in accordance with international law and approved by the UN Security Council.
"This is about securing international peace and security in the most important region of Europe. It cannot be forced and pushed into artificial deadlines. We will only agree to a decision that would suit the Serbs, who are defending their rights and laws," Lavrov said.
The Russian minister also stated that the EU, which has the UN General Assembly's mandate to facilitate the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, "must not isolate itself from its obligations and must fulfil them fairly". Lavrov also said the EU should fight for the already agreed on solutions and pointed to the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM).
"If you think it is possible that we recognise Kosovo or for Kosovo to enter the UN, while we get nothing more than a promise about becoming an EU member, our answer will be – no," the Serbian president said after the talks.
Lavrov also met with Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić, who stated that Moscow "can always count on Serbia" because Belgrade "always supports Russia's position in international institutions and organisations."
In other news, People's Party president and one of the leaders of the opposition coalition Alliance for Serbia Vuk Jeremić said on Thursday (18 June) that President Aleksandar Vučić would surrender another piece of Serbia's sovereignty in Kosovo on 27 June in Washington. And in return, he would receive Washington's blessings for the country's elections scheduled for 21 June which will "be everything but regular."
"I don't think that Vučić will agree to give Pristina a seat in the UN as soon as next week, which is only possible with Serbia's consent, because it would not be rational to do this in just one step. Vučić will ask for something more in exchange for Kosovo getting a seat in the UN," Jeremić told the N1 TV station.
The leader of the opposition also said that it was clear that the president will only be negotiating the price for recognising Kosovo's self-proclaimed independence.
According to Jeremić, Vučić has said that " Serbia could not give Kosovo a seat in the UN and not receive something in return, meaning that only the price of recognising [Kosovo] is being negotiated."
Meanwhile, EU special envoy for the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia Miroslav Lajcak has said on Thursday (18 June) that the conditions now existed for continuing the dialogue and that he will assist the two sides in reaching a “stable and acceptable agreement” that will normalize their relations.
At the end of his first visit to Kosovo as EU envoy, Lajcak told a press conference in Pristina that he had useful meetings with the leaders of institutions and political parties in Kosovo.
"At the meetings, I stressed that Kosovo needed to be united in the dialogue and that the dialogue must be lifted above politics. We must begin the dialogue quickly. We also discussed concrete steps, dates and priorities," Lajcak said.
He said that he would discuss similar issues in Belgrade. The EU Delegation in Serbia has announced that Lajcak will visit Belgrade between 22 and 23 June.
Also, US special envoy for negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia Richard Grenell has said that Belgrade's and Kosovo's delegations will meet in the White House on 27 June and that the meeting is an opportunity and opens the doors to economic development and investment.
The US hopes that the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia will seize this opportunity to return to dialogue and begin a new era of stability and prosperity. "The peoples of this region deserve nothing less than this," Grenell told the Nova.rs website yesterday (18 June).
On Monday (15 June), Grenell tweeted that a meeting on the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo will be held at the White House on 27 June and that, for that purpose, the Serbian and Kosovo governments had pledged to temporarily halt campaigns for withdrawing recognition i.e. membership in international organisations.
Photo: Beta/MINISTARSTVO SPOLJNIH POSLOVA SRBIJE/Ognjen Stevanovic