“…Serbian and Kosovar leaders agreed to continue talks after a tense meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (24 January), which only succeeded in further antagonising the two sides. EurActiv Serbia reports.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said normalising relations between Serbia and Kosvo was vital for the two countries, but her guests seemed unwilling to make any concessions.
On the contrary. Tensions escalated before the meeting when Serbia attempted to send a passenger train emblazoned with the slogan “Kosovo is Serbia” in several languages to the Serb enclave of northern Kosovo.
Pristina regarded it as a provocation and sent its ROSU special police forces to the north, forcing Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić to stop the controversial train from entering Kosovo.
Vučić’s decision halted the escalation, but tensions remained. Belgrade accused Pristina of jeopardising the safety of Kosovo Serbs by sending its security forces to the north, while Pristina stuck to its accusations that sending the controversial train had been a provocation to which the Kosovo authorities had to respond.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić added fuel to the fire by saying Serbia would deploy its army in Kosovo if the local Serbs were endangered, triggering heated reactions in Kosovo.
This tense background explains why the meeting in Brussels, attended by Presidents Nikolić and Hashim Thaçi, and Prime Ministers Vučić and Isa Mustafa, was considered so important….”