Serbia blocks Kosovo’s bid for UN membership

2 min read

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti has announced that Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic has vowed to oppose Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations.

The announcement came after the EU revealed that Serbia and Kosovo had agreed to sign a proposal aimed at normalizing relations. The meeting between Vucic and Kurti took place in Brussels on Monday, and while the proposal contains Article 4, which states that Serbia will not object to Kosovo’s membership in any international organization, Vucic has refused to agree to this.

Kurti has accused Serbia of breaching Article 4, saying that normalization of relations is only possible if both parties negotiate in good faith. He also stated that Serbia has apparently decided not to do so. Vucic, on the other hand, said that Serbia is willing to work on implementing many things contained in the European plan for Kosovo but that there should be no discussion on mutual recognition, recognition, or Kosovo’s membership in the UN.

The EU-led Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue has been ongoing since 2011, with the aim of finding a mutually agreeable solution for disputes in the framework of a legally binding agreement. The EU requires Kosovo and Serbia to reach a final agreement and resolve disputes to progress in their integration into the bloc.

However, while most UN member states, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Türkey, recognized Kosovo as a separate country from its neighbor when Pristina declared independence 15 years ago, Belgrade continues to regard it as its territory.

In October, Vucic revealed that Germany and France had offered to expedite Serbia’s EU membership process if it recognized Kosovo’s independence and allowed it to become a member of international organizations. The leaked proposal also calls for Kosovo to allow the establishment of a union of Serbian municipalities in the north, where many ethnic Serbs live.

EU officials hope to complete negotiations on the plan this spring, with Brussels facilitating the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue. The ongoing dispute between the two nations and their inability to come to a mutually agreeable solution has global repercussions, as it affects their integration into the EU and membership in international organizations such as the UN.

Dan Novick

Dan Novick is an economist and Balkans correspondent for GE63. With a focus on the economic and political developments in the Balkans, Novick offers insightful analysis and commentary on the region's growth, challenges, and opportunities.

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