President Vucic travelled to Kosovo in the weekend to visit the Serb people in the province. He listened to them, and problems are emerged such as the salary gap. He answered the critics who accused him and his party to be behind the murder of Ivanovic, saying that those people have never been in Kosovo, and that his conscience is clear.
The US embassy is adopting measures against Kosovo leaders if they continue with the initiative to abolish the KLA court, according to US Consul Brian Corteville. A bad consequence would be the refusal of visas for them (as happened to Prime Minister Haradinaj), but other unspecified measures would be taken.
The Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic announced that President Vucic will visit Kosovo to ensure the protection and security of the Serbs living there, and to grant that “these people have not been forgotten”. He also commented the position of Kosovo Prime Minister Haradinaj who denied Serbia the chance to be involved in the investigation for Ivanovic’s murder. He called this behavior “completely unacceptable”. “This reaction of the key Pristina institutions clearly indicates that there is no desire to find the killers and punish them”.
The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, held phone calls with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic and President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci following the killing of Oliver Ivanovic. The High Representative Mogherini firmly condemned the murder, while according to a press release issued by Mogherini’s Office “She underlined the expectation that the relevant Kosovo Rule of Law authorities spare no effort to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice without delay. The European Union’s Rule of Law mission, EULEX, will support the authorities in accordance with its mandate”.
Following the assassination in Mitrovica of the top Kosovo Serb Politician Oliver Ivanovic, the Serbian authorities made unilaterally the decision to suspend the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Ivanovic, considered as one of the most moderate Kosovo Serbs, was shot dead in front of his party’s office in the Serb-run north of Mitrovica. As reported by the Albanian Daily News, the Head of the Serbian delegation in the bilateral dialogue which is taking place in Brussels, Marko Djuric, announced the withdrawal from the dialogue as well as the return to Serbia. Djuric, responding to the journalists, defined Ivanovic’s Murder “a terrorist and criminal act that must be punished”.
According to Patriarch Irinej, Serbian President Vucic is fighting to preserve Kosovo and Metohija, as a response to the recent statements from an important bishop, Amfilohije, saying that Vucic is betraying Serbia and Kosovo. Irinej, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, also thanked God “for giving the RS a man, Milorad Dodik, who wisely guides his people and fights like a lion to preserve the RS”.
Mogherini’s Press Office, in response to Gazeta’s request to the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to comment on the initiative of the Assembly of Kosovo to Repeal the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecution, told that the statement of the Head of the EU Office in Kosovo, Nataliya Apostolova, reflects the stance of 28 EU member countries.During a statement, Apostolova has defined extremely dangerous the initiative of the Kosovo Assembly to abrogate the Law. “I am appalled by the initiative of the Kosovo Assembly to abrogate or in any other way put out of force the Law on Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecution Office”, said The EU representative while asking the assembly to immediately withdraw this initiative. Apostolova also added that such initiative would jeopardize the common effort made in recent years in the field of the rule of law and justice, and would jeopardize those who defend final impunity.
“I asked if Russia could act as a mediator and the Russian president agreed”, said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, during his meeting in Moscow with Russian Federation Council Chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko relating on his meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Vucic added, “if the (Kosovo) Albanians demand that the US become a mediator in the Kosovo talks, then we will demand that Russia join the process”. Serbian President stated to truly appreciate Russia’s support in preserving country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity considering it extremely important. He also stressed to expect Moscow’s support in the future. The same day, Belgrade news agency Beta stated that the Kremlin “did not wish to comment” on Russia’s possible mediator role. The spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, when asked about the possibility of expanding the format of the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, referred that the issue of Kosovo was seriously addressed during the Russian-Serbian talks. While representatives of Pristina expressed favorably on the United States getting involved in the dialogue. In fact, it is worth mentioning that dialogue was launched after the Kosovo issue was transferred from the UN to the EU in 2010, which has been acting as the facilitator ever since.
Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister, Enver Hoxhaj, said at the conferences for Balkans organized in Washington by the Atlantic Council, that dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia should move to a final phase and the full normalisation of relations. Hoxhaj said this could be reached in two years and that this agreement would require the support of the international community, especially of the European Union and the United States of America. Hoxhaj further argued that internal dialogue on Kosovo in Serbia initiated by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. He added that Serbia’s campaigns against Kosovo affect the process of dialogue, reached agreements and the agreements that should be reached in the final phase. He said there is no reason for Kosovo to continue with dialogue if it does not become a member of the United Nations and if mutual recognition with Serbia is not reached.
Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has shown Kosovo’s readiness to repatriate Kosovars who were recruited and went to the wars in Syria and Iraq alongside terrorist organizations.”Kosovo is the homeland of all and we are ready to repatriate all those willing to return,” he said. “Kosovo takes responsibility to ensure everyone’s life.” Haradinaj made this comment during the presentation of the UNDP report ‘Understanding pull and push factors in Kosovo; primary interviews with returned foreign fighters and their families.’ Haradinaj said the extremist religious ideologies in Kosovo spread as a result of “opening of Kosovo” after the end of the war but now Kosovars have learned the effects of extremist ideologies. The report includes interviews with those convicted by Kosovo courts for participation in foreign wars and their family members. Alessandra Roccasalvo from the UNDP said that Kosovo will face challenges at a time when Kosovar fighters will start returning from wars.