Everyone needs more realism

Donika Krasniqi of Gazeta Express asked some questions; I responded:

Q: US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hoyt Yee said during a roundtable, which you attended as well, that the West should be more direct with the corrupt Balkan leaders by not inviting them to Washington and Brussels.

How serious do you think his remarks are and is this a new policy of the US State Department with immediate effect or it is merely an opinion expressed in a discussion panel?

A: He sounded serious to me. And I suspect that some otherwise difficult-to-explain moves, like Dodik’s cancellation of dates for referenda, might be related.

Q: How do you see the demarcation issue between Kosovo and Montenegro now that Ramush Haradinaj is in office? We saw that as soon as he took office he set up a new committee to measure the demarcation line, as the pressure from Brussels and Washington to adopt the deal continues to mount on Kosovo officials.

A: This is an issue that Ramush should have abandoned as soon as he took office. Kosovo has little to gain and a great deal to lose if it continues to resist demarcation.

Q: Mr Haradinaj seems to be a leader with his hands tied, so which do you think should be the solution? Is there any advice you would give to Mr Haradinaj?

A: My advice is to get out of this rabbit hole as quickly as possible. Kosovo has far bigger and more important issues to worry about.

Q: Serbian officials have never spared their bellicose statements towards Kosovo. Just recently, head of Serbia’s government office for Kosovo Marco Djuric said that Serbs were ready to fight against Kosovo. Do you believe there could be a new conflict in the Balkans?

A: Mr. Djuric should know better. There will be no fighting for Kosovo so long as the NATO-led forces are there. I hope they will stay until complete normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, including UN membership for Kosovo and exchange of diplomatic representatives at the ambassadorial level. Djuric’s remarks make me wonder whether he is the right guy to be conducting an internal Serbian dialogue on the subject. Serbia needs introspection and realism, not fantasy and threats

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