Against Kosovo peace plan: Thousands demonstrate in Belgrade

Status: 03/18/2023 07:02 a.m

Today, Serbian President Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Kurti are meeting with EU foreign policy chief Borrell in North Macedonia to discuss a peace plan. In the evening there were protests against it.

Several thousand people demonstrated again in Belgrade against an EU-supported peace plan for Kosovo. A new round of talks on normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo is scheduled to take place today.

In the evening, the demonstrators gathered in front of the Cathedral of Saint Sava in the center of the Serbian capital. They moved from there to the President’s seat, shouting “Treason!” and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin. Banners read, among other things, “No to surrender”.

Serbia’s President Alexander Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti are meeting with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in North Macedonia today to discuss the peace plan.

Tensions have been high for months

Serbia and Kosovo are under increasing pressure from Western states to strike an agreement that would allow relations between the two sides to normalize. There has been massive tension on the border between the states for months.

Both Serbia and Kosovo are striving to join the EU. A meeting in Brussels at the end of February did not bring any breakthrough, even though EU representatives held out the prospect of an early agreement. Kurti and Vuvic then blamed each other for the preliminary failure of the negotiations. Vucic said in an interview that he “would not sign or accept any formal or informal recognition of Kosovo”.

Kosovo, a country of 1.8 million people with a majority Albanian population, declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade still regards it as a Serbian province to this day.

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