The Kosovar Prime Minister, Serbian president, and EU officials meet in Ohrid, North Macedonia to discuss an EU-backed normalization agreement between the two countries, and despite settling disagreements, no agreement was signed.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti, after 12 hours of talks between the two leaders and EU officials in Ohrid, North Macedonia, have settled on how to implement the EU-backed agreement to normalize relations between the two countries, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell announced on Saturday, without mentioning that no agreement was officially signed.
Josep Borrell told reporters that “Kosovo and Serbia have agreed on the Implementation Annex of the Agreement on the path to normalization of relations,” adding that “the parties have fully committed to honoring all articles of the agreement and implementing their respective obligations expediently and in good faith.”
Despite reaching a settlement, Vucic noted, “certainly this will not be all,” adding that “these few points that we have agreed on will become part of the negotiation framework for both sides.”
Significantly, neither Kurti nor Vucic signed the implementation accord following the meeting. The Serbian President argued, “Now it is up to the European Union to find a mechanism to make this agreement legally and internationally binding.”
The main reason for the tension is the 2008 declaration of independence of Kosovo, which Serbia does not recognize and encourages the Serb minority to remain loyal to Belgrade.
In November 2022, Serbs in northern Kosovo resigned from public institutions in protest over the row on vehicle number plates.
The Serb representatives have since returned to Kosovo’s parliament but not to other public bodies.
Pristina has declared that around 10,000 Kosovan Serbs with license plates issued by Serbia must replace them with plates from the Republic of Kosovo by next April, under a gradual plan that would involve warnings, fines, and road bans.