THE KOSOVO ISSUE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SECURITY SITUATION ON THE BALKANS: CHALLENGES FOR UKRAINE
The article deals with the main tendencies of the domestic political situation in Serbia and Kosovo, a partially recognized state, in the context of the complex process of post-conflict resolution. A number of problems of the internal development (lack of political elites consensus, weakness of economies, slow implementation of reforms in the governance, unresolved interethnic issues etc.) combined with a tight pressure of leading foreign forces are assessed.
The current state of bilateral dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina concerning the achievement of a comprehensive political agreement for the normalization of relations and the key factors of foreign influences on the both sides are analyzed. The main tendencies, the security threats of non-resolving Kosovo precedent for the Balkan region are determined; the mediation efforts of the EU, interests and influences of third parties, prospects for a final agreement are considered.
European integration remains the one strategic vector for all Balkan countries, including Serbia and Kosovo. Recognition of the Republic of Kosovo is a guarantee, a crucial point and an essential precondition for the success of this strategy for both countries. At the same time, if the European integration of Balkan states is frozen, the probability of the restoration and strengthening of regional conflicts will increase. Therefore, the effects of these changes will have a direct impact on European stability and security, and certainly have an impact on the international context.
The idea of ethnic-territorial exchange as part of the plan for the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo, presented by the parties, poses a serious danger, since changes of borders on the ethnic grounds with high probability will lead to the resumption of ethnic confrontations. Taking into account a number of the mutual territorial claims among the Balkan states it can provoke a chain reaction.
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