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  • Author: Daniel Serwer
  • Publication Date: 09-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: Kosovo was left at the end of the NATO/Yugoslavia war in 1999 in limbo. It is still there, despite Security Council Resolution 1244, which foresaw a process for deciding its status. That process has occurred, but because of a threatened Russian veto, the Security Council failed to approve the plan prepared under the leadership of former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, which provides for Kosovo's independence under international supervision with extensive protection for its Serb population. The UN Secretary General invited the Contact Group—France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the UK and the U.S.—to pursue further, direct negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade, but with little prospect of movement on either side. Belgrade continues to insist on maintenance of its sovereignty over Kosovo, and Pristina continues to insist on independence. On December 10, the Contact Group will report to the UN Secretary General, who in turn will report to the Security Council (UNSC). A small group of experts with long Balkans experience met at USIP September 5 to discuss the situation and suggest ways forward. Others (consulted electronically) join in associating their names with this paper. Listed at the end, all believe that Kosovo's independence must happen without further delay, in order to prevent regional instability. This USIPeace Briefing does not reflect the views of the United States Institute of Peace, which does not take positions on policy issues.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Economy, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, France, Kosovo, Germany, Balkans