“No Kosovo recognition from Serbia”

VIENNA

A former EU envoy in the talks on the Kosovo status says he does not expect Belgrade to recognize “even in the best case scenario”.

Stefan Lehne believes that Belgrade and Priština should establish practical cooperation, and that “different political stands on the independence of Kosovo should be put aside”.

In a political analysis prepared for the Austrian Institute for International Affairs, Lehne said that “it would perhaps be best to hope for some interim solution within the borders proposed by the EU representative in the mediating troika, Wolfgang Ischinger”, Priština media reported on Monday. 

In his analysis, Lehne said that “Serbia will continue to be an important factor in the future of Kosovo”.

That will depend on Serbia’s advance toward the EU, he said. Along the right path toward the realization of its European ambitions, “Serbia will overcome the trauma over the loss of Kosovo and it will turn to other priorities”, he expects.

Nevertheless, Lehne said, should Serbia’s pathway toward Europe be blocked, “it can be expected that nationalist forces will be revived and the tensions regarding Kosovo continued”.

Lehne was on UN Kosovo mediator Martti Ahtissari’s team during the negotiations to determine the province’s future status that ended without agreement.

Ahtisaari drafted a plan that was rejected by Belgrade and Moscow, and never approved at the UN.

Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians in February 2008 unilaterally declared independence. Serbia rejected the proclamation and considers it illegal.

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