The dialogue between Serbia and unrecognized republic of Kosovo under EU auspices is the state of deep conceptual crisis, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on Wednesday.
"We have to confirm that the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina under EU mediation remains in the state of deep conceptual crisis," Nebenzya said at the UN Security Council session on Kosovo settlement. "The absence of any meaningul results after contacts between the sides serves as evidence of that," TASS reported.
"Work has still not started on moving toward the set ambitious goal of developing a comprehensive agreement on normalizing relations," he added. "The main problem is that the earlier key agreement on forming an association of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo is not being implemented," the diplomat said.
At the same time, Nebenzya noted Belgrade's constructive position and willingness to search for mutually acceptable settlement options. "However, Pristina probably hopes that Serbia will give in to external pressure and recognize Kosovo's so-called independence. Moreover, in response to recent compromise suggestions put forward by the Serbian leadership, Kosovar Albanian leaders made unilateral claims for large territories in Serbia's south," he reminded.
Commenting on a tweet by leader of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo Hashim Thaci Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday told reporters Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Moscow’s readiness to support an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo in case such an agreement was reached.
"In Paris, I met President Putin, focusing on dialogue for the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia for a comprehensive, binding agreement. On this topic, President Putin was clear: ‘If you (Kosovo and Serbia) achieve a peaceful agreement, Russia will support it’," Thaci wrote on Twitter earlier. He also tweeted a photo of himself and the Russian leader.
"Putin emphasized the need for Kosovo to reach a consensus with Serbia," the Russian presidential spokesman said. "He said that we were ready to support an agreement that the parties would guarantee," he added.
Peskov also said that Putin and Thaci had held a brief conversation on the sidelines of events marking the 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice, held in the French capital of Paris on November 11. According to Peskov, while in Paris, the Russian president had also met with other leaders.
Serbia’s autonomous province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in February 2008. In 2010, its independence was recognized by the International Court of Justice (CIJ). Kosovo claims to have been recognized by 117 countries so far, while Serbia says Kosovo enjoys the support of 105 nations. More than 60 countries, including Russia, China, India, Israel and five EU member states, oppose Kosovo’s independence.
Over the past several months, Belgrade and Pristina have been actively discussing a compromise solution related to border changes and an exchange of territories. The United States backs this idea, insisting that a final deal should be reached on changing the borders of Serbia and the unrecognized republic. German Chancellor Angela Merkel opposes border changes in the Balkan region, stressing that all regional states have the prospect of joining the European Union.