Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko’s answer to a media question about the outcome of the Belgrade-Pristina expert dialogue round
Question: What do you think about the inconclusive outcome of the Belgrade-Pristina expert dialogue round that took place in Brussels on September 17 this year?
Alexander Grushko: There was no meaningful discussion this time either, because of the obstruction by the Kosovars. They again refused to discuss the formation of the Community of Serb Municipalities in Kosovo (CSMK) despite Belgrade’s demand that this key issue be given due attention. Pristina has long pursued this line, openly subverting its commitments on establishing the CSMK since 2013. Judging by everything, the European Union is unable to influence the Kosovars.
Pristina’s intractability and its refusal to conduct a constructive exchange of views with Belgrade on the modalities of the CSMK cast doubt on the effectiveness of the negotiating process when Pristina openly ignores what it itself signed. Will Brussels, authorised by the UN to be a mediator in this process, insist on the Kosovo authorities implementing the agreements signed with EU participation? This question remains open.
We believe the Kosovo issue can be resolved only on the basis of international law, primarily UN Security Council Resolution 1244. The settlement must be endorsed by the UN Security Council because it is a matter of ensuring peace in the very fragile Balkans region.