The Russian invasion of Ukraine is forcing the United States to step up its efforts to reduce Moscow’s influence in the Western Balkans, including US Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Dodo, who began a five-day tour of the region on Monday.
The messages conveyed in Pristina and Belgrade by the US Undersecretary were clear and concern the resolution of open issues in order to eliminate the reasons that justify the Russian intervention in the Western Balkans.
“The United States wants a final agreement between Kosovo and Serbia with mutual recognition, which will be a guarantee of peace and economic prosperity,” the US official said in Pristina after meeting on Monday. the political leadership of Kosovo.
He apparently expressed the same position in Belgrade, but did not do so publicly, as the meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic was private and was not followed by statements to the press.
The official statement of the Presidency of the Republic of Serbia states that there was a convergence of views on Kosovo on the need to continue the dialogue under the auspices of the EU, with a view to finding a compromise solution. Particular attention was paid to Serbia’s energy independence from Russia and the possibilities of diversifying sources of fossil fuel supply were discussed.
Karen Donfried pointed out that the Western Balkans are at the heart of US foreign policy and said that European integration of the region is a priority in order to establish stability and peace in the region.
Today, the US Secretary of State is visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by visits to Montenegro, Albania and Northern Macedonia.