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Kosovo-Serbia Border Deal (1 Viewer)

It was reported today that the Kosovo –Serbia border conflict has been resolved as NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) and Serbia agreed to a deal in which “KFOR will maintain sole control over the two disputed border crossings into Serbia proper at least until mid-September, while Serbs will ‘within a few days’ remove the roadblocks.” This comprise was reached when both nations “dropped what they listed as their central demands in the standoff,” Serbia accepted Kosovo’s embargo on its good and Kosovo decided not to appoint a customs official to the checkpoint.

While it is good that the political elite have worked out a deal, there are still problems such as Serbs in northern Kosovo who “refused to accept a key part of the deal and end a blockade of main roads imposed in a dispute that is essentially about who controls the area.” In addition to this, some argue that this deal is problematic as this “border conflict is in reality a territorial dispute” that the international community has no solution to since the European Union itself is split, with 22 EU countries recognizing Kosovo and 5 not, while in the UN, only 75 out of 192 member states recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state.

There are also problems for Serbia as they are currently on attempting to become a full EU member, yet an additional requirement is that they must show “tangible progress in establishing positive relations with Serbia's neighbors, including Kosovo, where the EU currently has its most important mission in the region.” However, this is a problem for Serbia as they see Kosovo as a southern part of their nation, as well as the fact that “any cession of territory, as envisioned by the Serbians, could also spark a chain reaction between Bosnia and Macedonia and once again open up a Pandora's box that could lead to collective paranoia, new ethnic tensions and expulsions.” This situation would not only create problems for Serbia and its neighbors, but also for nations and groups with interests in Eastern Europe, such as NATO, the EU, and Russia.

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