“Everyone is welcome to contribute with ideas that would help stability, peace and prosperity in Serbia and Kosovo,” has stated Dick Custin, spokesman for the US special envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Richard Grenell.
Custin made the statement in reply to Radio Free Europe’s question whether there is room for Russia in the dialogue.
It came after the Russian Ambassador to Belgrade Alexander Botsan-Kharchenko’s suggestion that Russia’s involvement would depend on Serbia’s request. Karchenko also stated that a Kosovo-Serbia agreement should be confirmed by the UN Security Council in the form of a new resolution that would replace Resolution 1244.
Kosovo’s spokesperson Perparim Kryeziu told RFE that “Russia aims at taking the Kosovo issue back to the UN Security Council where it has a veto.”
He added that Kosovo’s declaration of independence was judged in compliance with international law by the UN’s International Court of Justice, hence the UNSC and Russia should not contradict the ruling of the only UN court. Resolution 1244 of 1999 has been repealed in silence after Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, he concluded.
UNSC Resolution 1244 demanded that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under Slobodan Milosevic stop violence and repression and withdraw all military, police and paramilitary forces from Kosovo, as well as for the Kosovo Liberation Army to demilitarize. It established a UN administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) and a NATO force (KFOR). The resolution stated that Kosovo’s future status would be based on the “will of the people of Kosovo”.
In 2008 Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. The latter asked the International Court of Justice whether Kosovo’s declaration of independence was illegal. The court ruled that it complied with international law and was legal.
Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic asked for Russia’s involvement in the dialogue with Kosovo back in 2017, and President Vladimir Putin welcomed his request. Vucic has not been reported to have voiced the same request in public since 2018.