Serbia and Kosovo debate trading land to end fighting
Serbia and Kosovo have begun talks of cooling the long lasting dispute between the two Balkan countries that sparked after Kosovo declared independence in 2008.
While Serbia has refused to acknowledge Kosovo as a sovereign nation, but countries share the common goal of wanting to join the EU. A move that Brussels has stated will not happen so long as disagreements over Kosovo’s sovereignty remain unsettled.
Serbian President Aleksandar of Vucic, and Kosovar President Hashi Thaci have suggested a territorial trade along ethnic lines that would change borders, with the goal of settling their differences.
The land proposed swap would see Serbia gain parts of northern Kosovo, which is mostly full of Serbians. In exchange Kosovo would get the Presevo Valley, and area inhabited by primarily Albanians.
Former CIA analyst David Kanin stated that Europe has always had changing borders
“That has not stopped. Every change in Yugoslavia since the old Yugoslavia collapsed has been about changing borders, moving people around, some supported by the West, some opposed”
Angela Merkel however has rejected the proposed changes stating that
“The territorial integrity of the states of the Western Balkans has been established and is inviolable.”
Kurt Volker, former U.S. NATO ambassador and current Special Representative for Ukraine stated that
“If Kosovo and Serbia were able to agree on a settlement that would allow for permanent peace that would allow for mutual recognition, I think that would help settle politics in Serbia in some ways. It would give Kosovo a way forward,”