Hamster on a Treadmill: Western Diplomacy and the Kosovo Status Dispute

Since 1878 the Balkan region has come under successive great power security caps, each of which has turned out to be less permanent than advertised. The war in Ukraine underscores the fact that stability in the area, and in Europe as a whole, is as impermanent as the arrangements negotiated at Berlin, Versailles, San Francisco and in the Two Plus Four Agreement reached in Moscow in 1990. This context undermines Western efforts to force through resolution of Balkan disputes repeatedly declared solved but in fact still unsettled. In particular, the question of whether Kosovo is an independent country or a province of Serbia illegitimately wrenched from it continues to fester. Despite repeated US demands, five EU members refuse to recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state, along with Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, Nigeria and other states. Against this backdrop, the ongoing Western effort to force creation of a Community of Serbian Municipalities (CSM) in Kosovo will reinforce Serbian communal cohesiveness and undermine Kosovo’s sovereignty. The limited formal functions of this community would likely be less important than the informal influence on it from Belgrade and trust-based Serbian patronage networks.

Let’s Review the Bidding.

Kosovo was a central venue in the medieval Serbian Empire and important to Orthodox Christianity in the region. Serbian priests kept the memory of the iconic Battle of Kosovo Polje (June 28, 1389) alive and preserved the remains of its Serbian commander. Beginning in the nineteenth century, Kosovo became central to a narrative that defined the Serbian nation, state, and national church.

At the same time, Serbs were leaving Kosovo for better opportunities elsewhere–such as the famous trek of 1689-90 to what became Serbia’s province of Vojvodina after 1919. Over time, Albanians replaced Serbs as the dominant population in the area. Serbs and Albanians began to contest Kosovo during the Balkan Wars, and when Serbian forces conquered the region, they treated local Albanians roughly. Tables turned in 1915 when much of the Serbian political and military elite retreated across Kosovo and Albania after being overwhelmed by a combined German, Austro-Hungarian, and Bulgarian offensive. Seizing the opportunity, Albanian bandits attacked and plundered the beleaguered Serbs.  

The 1919 settlements left Kosovo inside the new Serbian dominated construction eventually called Yugoslavia. From that point on, the area has been managed or contested as part of the fragile structure of Yugoslavia and the fractured condition of the post-Yugoslav Balkans.

Kosovo was not an international problem between the wars in part because Albanian strongman Ahmet Zogu was from central Albania and did not care about this region. Similarly, Albanian Communist boss Enver Hoxha was from Gjirokaster in the south and–for all the venom passing between Tirana and Belgrade after 1948–Kosovo was not a central focus of intra-Communist polemics.

In Tito’s Yugoslavia, Kosovo was placed in the Socialist Republic of Serbia and at first came under the boot of Aleksandar Rankovic, Serbian party leader and Yugoslavia’s security chief. Rankovic’s fall in 1966 intensified the vertigo associated with Tito’s tightrope act of simultaneously promoting a cohesive Yugoslav federation and satisfying the demands of the many ethnic communities within it. Violent protests in 1968 in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, alarmed a budding Serbian nationalist movement and crystalized Kosovar Albanian demands for greater rights as a political community.¹

A brief resurgence of those favoring a more centralized Yugoslavia followed Tito’s decision to purge liberal communists in Croatia and Serbia in 1971-1972. Tito then enshrined a whipsaw decentralization of the country through the 1974 Constitution. As an “autonomous province” of Serbia, Kosovo became entitled to its own government and League of Communists. Ethnic Albanians dominated decisions related to administration, employment, education, and other aspects of social organization. Many Serbs and Montenegrins left the province, sparking fierce public arguments over whether this was a result of difficult economic conditions or purposeful ejection of Serbs and Montenegrins by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leadership. Another round of Albanian protests in 1981 (shortly after Tito’s death) sharpened security concerns

In stepped Slobodan Milosevic, a rising figure in the Serbian Communist leadership. In 1987, he went to Pristina and in a stage-managed scene promised that no one would beat up Serbs again. Milosevic, who was not then known for his nationalist sentiments, went home, overthrew the Serbian leadership, and seized control in Kosovo, Vojvodina, and Montenegro.  His regime threw Kosovar Albanians out of work and out of school. On June 28, 1989, Milosevic put on a hugely attended commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the battle of Kosovo Polje.

Milosevic’s power grab in Kosovo sparked organized resistance. Its leader, “Shadow President” Ibrahim Rugova, would accept nothing short of full independence but staunchly rejected demands for violent tactics. Some Kosovars eventually lost patience with Rugova’s pacifism and formed a “Kosovo Liberation Army,” which fought mostly losing battles in the run-up to the 1999 NATO bombing campaign in Kosovo and Serbia.

NATO’s decision to launch airstrikes was a product of Milosevic’s aggressive and duplicitous role in provoking the collapse of Yugoslavia, contributing to the Bosnian War of 1992-1995 and frustrating Western efforts to portray its Balkan diplomacy as a shining example of post-Cold War conflict management.  After several months of escalating air assaults and Serbian efforts to evict tens-of-thousands of Kosovar Albanians, Milosevic gave in to NATO and Russian pressure and pulled Serbian troops out of Kosovo.  UN Security Council Resolution 1244 set up the still existing peacekeeping mission but also included security annexes permitting Serbian forces to reenter Kosovo under specific circumstances.² Those clauses provide the legal basis for arguments made by Serbia and its supporters that Kosovo remains a part of Serbia. As with Bosnia a few years earlier, Serbia lost the war but did well at the peace table.

Later that year, 34 heads of state met in Sarajevo to sign a much-celebrated regional security agreement and declare an end to the Balkan conflicts. In an important sense this has proven accurate as there has been no new major conflict in the region. However, crafting a secure peace and enabling material progress have proven elusive. Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Croatia have joined the European Union.  However, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, and North Macedonia (now termed the “Western Balkans”) remain left out and are unhappy with the perceived disingenuousness of EU enlargement policy.

The outcome of the 1999 NATO bombing campaign and the language of UNSCR 1244 left Kosovo’s political, diplomatic, and legal condition in question. Western–and particularly American–impatience has made the waters even muddier. In 2004, the UN Security Council declared its approach for the UN Kosovo Mission would be implementing a “standards before status” policy.³ Kosovo would need to achieve various developmental goals before its legal and political status could be decided.  But within two years Washington and London upended that approach. They insisted Kosovo would have independence by the end of 2006 and that a new UN Security Council resolution would sanctify its sovereignty. The Americans brushed aside widespread expectations that Moscow would not accept such an outcome.

Sure enough Russia blocked the resolution. Undeterred, Washington then decided Kosovo would declare its independence unilaterally. American decisionmakers dismissed warnings that some members of the European Union would join Serbia and Russia in opposition to an independent Kosovo. Washington insisted Kosovo was a unique case in world history and could not possibly be compared to such problems as Transylvania, Catalonia, or Cyprus.  Nevertheless, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Spain, and Slovakia refused to recognize Kosovo when it declared its independence in February 2008. This remains the situation and Kosovo’s status remains in question, no matter the insistence to the contrary by U.S. diplomats and supporting academics. In addition, Serbian nationalists gained control of an area in northern Kosovo with a Serb majority population. The Serbian nationalists, Belgrade, and organized criminals have since deepened their hold. Despite various international demands and attempts to change things, this area remains effectively independent of Kosovo and latched to the larger Serbian world.

The Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo

In April 2013, the EU attempted to impose its writ. It knocked Serbian and Kosovar heads together and produced an agreement to start a “Dialogue.”  This deal contained multiple clauses, but the key concept was creation of a Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) in Kosovo. This would organize and represent the interests of Kosovo’s Serbs and be integrated into Kosovo’s constitution and judicial system. Its specific authorities would be limited to economic development, education, health, and human development. Serbia and Kosovo disagreed over whether this entity would have executive powers.

This was a bad deal for Kosovo. Creation of a CSM would give the Serbs in Kosovo an internationally sanctioned political status. Serbia is a sovereign state and so already possesses unquestioned sovereignty. But a Kosovo still unrecognized by Serbia and five EU members still would not. The formal limits of CSM’s authorities are irrelevant. Belgrade would maintain its insistence that the CSM hold executive powers regarding Serbian social and political organization in Kosovo. Parallel informal trust-based patronage networks would be able to capture and exploit the CSM’s organization and activities–as is the case now in northern Kosovo. Most importantly, creation of a CSM would provide Belgrade and informal actors an institutional capability to extend their reach to Serbs living in southern Serbia.

The current government in Pristina recognizes these dangers and has been determined to avoid creating the CSM its predecessors signed on to. Meanwhile, the highly touted establishment of the Dialogue enabled Belgrade to preach “status neutrality” and demand the EU impose creation of the CSM.

The West wants Serbia to agree not to block Kosovo’s membership in the UN General Assembly and other international organizations in return for the formation of the CSM. This would do Kosovo little good. For three decades, Taiwan held a permanent UN Security Council seat as the Republic of China. That perk evaporated when global security conditions shifted in favor of Beijing.  Serbs may make up only a small portion of Kosovo’s population, but a CSM would become a conduit of identification of Kosovo’s Serbs with the Serbian world. The only quid pro-quo useful to Kosovo would be formal recognition by Serbia and the five EU holdouts when a CSM comes into being.

Western governments continue to press Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti to knuckle under and create the CSM. At a meeting in February 2023, Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic verbally agreed to the CSM’s formation in return for Belgrade’s promise to cease convincing countries to unrecognize Kosovo and willingness to permit Kosovar membership in international organizations. When text of this agreement was published, it turned out it was more a statement of principles than a solid deal.⁴ The EU hosted a follow-on meeting on March 18 to hammer out a concrete implementation annex. Afterwards when Vucic read out the annex’s text, it was revealed only to be a vague agreement to create such an annex rather than a clear approach to actual implementation. Subsequent working level meetings did not move things forward.

Then Kurti made a mistake.  Serbs in northern Kosovo had boycotted local elections in April 2023, leading to a miniscule voter turnout that resulted in a few hundred ballots electing ethnic Albanian mayors in overwhelmingly Serbian towns. International observers and Western officials dismissed the elections as a failure. Nevertheless, at the end of May, Kosovar police with the mayors in tow attempted to force their way into municipal buildings. Crowds of angry Serbs gathered to prevent this, leading international forces to intervene. The resulting violence injured dozens of people on all sides.⁵

American and European spokespeople universally blamed the crisis on Pristina. In unusually tough terms, Washington declared it would suspend efforts to convince those countries that have not yet recognized Kosovo’s sovereignty.⁶ Kurti snapped back but agreed in principle to schedule new local elections.  For its part, Belgrade agreed in principle to advise Serbs to participate in them. It is clear Washington intends to encourage whatever electoral or legal process it takes to get Kurti out of office and bring CSM into existence. Western credibility in the region will suffer further erosion if this is not accomplished.

This diplomacy is the latest example of a pattern in which Western powers force their clients to make concessions to adversaries. The 1995 Dayton Agreement fulfilled a pledge to give the Serbs nearly half the country at a time when they controlled perhaps 70 percent of Bosnia. This was honored even though the Serbs lost a fair chunk of territory by the time the fighting stopped. As a result, Bosnian Serbs gained a cohesive entity while the U.S.-supported Bosnjaks (Muslims) were prevented from possessing a contiguous or coherent political space.

The 2014 Minsk Agreement recognized a special status for the Luhansk and Donetsk territories seized by Russia in that round of fighting. This legitimized the separation of those areas from Ukraine, giving Moscow a legal fig leaf as it integrated its conquests into Russia and prepared to do the same to the rest of Ukraine. Creation of a CSM would similarly embolden Serbia and its Russian ally while working against Western interests.

Kosovo and the Inconsistency of Status Diplomacy

A larger problem related to the proposed CSM is that it highlights the inconsistency and confusion inherent in the Western approach to identity and community in the Balkans. Consider the record. In February 1994, the United States forced recently warring Bosnian Bosnjaks and Bosnian Croats into a Federation neither side wanted. The Bosnjaks sought to become the dominant community in a postwar Bosnia while the Croats wanted a status distinct from Bosnjaks and Bosnian Serbs. Instead, the Americans insisted both sides agree to submerge their communal identities in a multicultural entity with civic politics.

The rhetoric of civic institutionalism persisted but actual practice veered toward ethnic politics in both Croatia and Bosnia. The memory of the Bosnian war tends to obscure consideration of what happened in Croatia. In 1992, a cohesive Serbian community refused to join the Croat state emerging from the ruins of Yugoslavia and created a Republic of the Serb Krajina by force. Three years later Croatian forces destroyed that putative state and (with Milosevic’s cooperation) drove hundreds of thousands of Serbs into exile in Serbia. The West insisted Croatia’s nationalist government permit those Serbs to reenter to conform to the principle of civic multiculturalism. Crucially, however, then President of Croatia Franjo Tudjman was able to avoid creating CSM-like institutions strong enough to permit the Serbs to function as a cohesive community. Thus, returning Serbs were granted only the basic rights of a supplicant minority in a resoundingly Croatian Croatia.

Western policy almost immediately changed again. The Dayton Agreement of November 1995 shoehorned the Washington agreement’s Federation into a Bosnia modeled after the decentralizing Yugoslav Constitution of 1974. Bosnjaks and Bosnian Croats still were instructed to cooperate as civic partners in their Federation, but Bosnia as a whole became a three-cornered amalgamation of distinct national communities. The central state was given little power and everything of importance became subject to the veto of the country’s dominant Serb, Croat, and Bosnjak communities. Meanwhile, Dayton gifted Bosnian Serbs with more territory than they had at the end of the fighting. They were reintroduced into Western Bosnia in a way that ensured that America’s Bosnjak clients would not have a geographically contiguous area in which to organize themselves. Even more importantly, Bosnia’s internationally engendered constitution created the Serbian Republic (RS), a cohesive, centralized entity under control of a dominant, organized Serbian community–a sharp contrast with the rickety Bosnjak-Croat federation. Fig leaf guarantees then and after were meant to give rights to non-Serbs, but the RS remains as solidly Serb as Croatia is staunchly Croatian. 

Fast forward to Montenegro in 2006. International overseers insisted that Montenegro’s referendum on independence gain a double majority—that is 55% of registered voters had to vote and 55% of those voters had to vote yes to ensure international recognition. This was a reasonable condition in view of the large minority of Montenegrins who believe all Montenegrins are part of the larger Serbian universe and of the possibility that Milo Djukanovic, Montenegro’s strongman, might tamper with the vote. This process marked a success, but it remains unclear whether Montenegro’s Serbs will be able to organize themselves like Serbs in Bosnia or will have to accept a less advantageous status like Serbs in Croatia. This remains a potentially destabilizing issue in the wake of Djukanovic’s recent fall from power and ongoing uncertainty about the country’s politics. Western voices seem to favor giving Montenegro’s Serbs only individual rights, thus treating Serbs in Montenegro like Serbs in Croatia but not like Serbs in Bosnia or Kosovo.

The 2013 Agreement’s insistence that Kosovo create a CSM means the West has decided to organize Kosovo’s Serbs more like Serbs in Bosnia than Serbs in Croatia or Bosnjaks and Bosnian Croats in their shotgun Federation. Western notables deny the CSM will be another RS—an entity able to destabilize Kosovo. This is a questionable proposition no matter the legal limitations built into its authority.

The West so far has not taken to heart the partially successful resolution to the nationality questions crafted by Macedonians and ethnic Albanians in what now is called the Republic of North Macedonia. As Yugoslavia collapsed, Macedonian President Kiri Gligorov reached out to ethnic Albanian leaders and established the principle that no Macedonian government would be formed without participation by ethnic Albanians as ministers and in other important positions. A brief insurgency over social and political issues a few years later resulted in the Ohrid Agreement, a home-grown deal that produced a consociational system still in operation. The country’s two constituent communities are distinct but locked into a mutually constructive political framework.

International involvement in Macedonia was present but minimal. A skillful American mediator eventually midwifed a formula forged by Greek and Macedonian leaders in 2018 that resolved Greece’s objections to North Macedonia’s name. Unfortunately, the question as to whether a distinct Bulgarian community lives in North Macedonia and whether Macedonian and Bulgarian are distinct languages remains stubbornly unresolved. International incoherence regarding such problems in Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, and Kosovo suggests the best road forward on this issue would be one without an overbearing international presence.

OK, But Can’t We Do Anything?

For nearly two centuries, great powers have kept Balkan societies in a state of dependence, enabling the instability that stems from European security dynamics and from the locals’ competing ambitions and clashing communal identities. A feedback loop has grown up involving international insistence that Balkan communities cannot manage their own affairs and local acceptance of that assertion as a fact.

Given the frustrations of the last 30 years it might be worthwhile if Western Balkan practitioners gave more attention to initiatives coming from actors within the region. This is especially important in the rare cases where two leaders on opposite sides of a dispute strike an agreement on a way forward. This does not mean automatically embracing their solution but rather responding with thoughtful analysis and practical suggestions. Instead, U.S. and EU spokespeople too often reject ideas not originating in Washington or Brussels. This has led to missed opportunities.

The first was in 2009, when Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic and Bosnian Serb strongman Milorad Dodik stopped arguing long enough to express their joint contempt for the West’s approach to amending the Dayton Agreement. They struck a deal supposedly providing a way forward while also thumbing their noses at five years of Western legal and diplomatic pressure. The international response was an ultimatum–all sides in Bosnia were ordered to convene at the Butmir military base outside Sarajevo and finally sign on to Constitutional reform. This, the West warned, was Bosnia’s last chance. Bosnjak, Bosnian Serb, and Bosnian Croat leaders ignored these instructions, and nothing came of the Butmir meeting.

The second, more important opportunity emerged in a deal reached in 2018 by Serbian President Vucic and his Kosovar counterpart, Hashim Thaci. The agreement would have involved a land swap between Serbia and Kosovo leading to mutual recognition. Territory north of the Ibar River would go from Kosovo to Serbia in exchange for an area in southern Serbia that has a majority Albanian population. The idea reflected the fact that the land north of the Ibar had been part of Kosovo only since the Tito era, when Rankovic responded to the disparity between the growing Albanian and shrinking Serbian populations by putting more Serbs in Kosovo.

The Western response was strong and hostile, stressing that Balkan borders had been declared final and warning that any new partition would call them all into question. Partition also could lead to population movements and perhaps violence along the lines of what happened in India and Pakistan after 1947. Such a nod to an ethnic-centered solution also would go against the grain of the West’s multiculturalist teleology. In saying all this, the Americans and Europeans did not give any value to the constructive relationship Vucic and Thaci had built or acknowledge that these men were willing to face the prospect of violence against them by radicals on both sides. Instead of immediate and outright rejection, it would have been worthwhile for the West to help the locals manage the problems inherent with the partition initiative.

There now is another homegrown idea on the table. Vucic first called it “mini-Schengen” and now “Open Balkans.” Albania, Montenegro, and North Macedonia have expressed interest and this time Western diplomats have provided mild encouragement rather than outright rejection.

The problem is that no one knows exactly what Open Balkans means beyond easier movement among participating countries. The West could help with this. The European Commission has laid out a ten-year plan for economic development in the region that includes a call for a “Western Balkans Common Regional Market” by 2025. EU President Ursula von der Layen has offered useful suggestions about how to link Balkan economies into the common European market.⁷ Vucic should be challenged to specify what he has in mind and solicit specific ideas from other Balkan leaders. The critical issue would be how to fold the plan for the Common Regional Market into Open Balkans, not the other way around. Western experts should take their lead from Balkan supervisors no matter how much more expert the Europeans consider themselves to be. Balkan economists and technical experts should lead every aspect of the project.

Sovereignty for Metohija

The dispute between Serbia and its former province will remain a serious security problem even if some sort of wider Balkan economic and social project takes root. Pressure for a CSM and the clashes over Kurti’s effort to enforce the illegitimate local elections have not helped matters. The indelible illegitimacy of a Kosovar state among Kosovo’s Serbian population means a CSM would become an alternative to Pristina’s sovereignty, not a means for Serbs to find their place within it.

Any effective agreement on Kosovo’s status would need to both establish a universally recognized Kosovar sovereignty and satisfy Serbian demands for its continued connection to an important part of its history and identity. One important actor in this process is the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC). It would be a mistake to underestimate the durability of the SPC ‘s clout or dismiss it as a backward, anachronistic relic in a supposed age of liberal institutionalism and secular, democratic, multiethnic states. Teleology is as much a factor in such thinking as in religious belief and obstructs useful analysis and policy formation. The complacent mismanagement of the SPC in Montenegro by Milo Djukanovic is an object lesson worth taking to heart. Greater respect for the central role of the SPC in Kosovo might have helped Washington avoid the miscalculations and poor policy planning between 2006 and 2008 that created Kosovo’s current contested status.

In short, the SPC is much more than just a Church. It owns the spiritual properties that provide physical evidence of ties between Serbian identity and the lost province–the use of the term “Metohija” in official Serbian nomenclature reflects the palpable, spiritual and historical aspects of Serbia’s claim on Kosovo. SPC hierarchs have been at the forefront of efforts to draw international attention to alleged Kosovar crimes against Serbs and promote the case that Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo is a diachronic fact and synchronic necessity.

The SPC also serves as a lodestar for many nationalists who reject any compromise on Kosovo–a point central to the thesis of this essay. Reducing SPC opposition to the sovereignty of a largely Albanian Kosovo would undercut some of the domestic legitimacy of hardliners who use SPC-based symbolism to sanctify their unalterable opposition to anything short of total Serbian reabsorption of its former province This would not be easy, in part because of significant Russian influence over SPC and its Metropolitanates in Kosovo and Montenegro. 

Even so, it might be worth proposing the creation of something like the Vatican microstate, Pope Pius XI and Mussolini agreed on in the Lateran Treaty of 1929. Of course, the two situations are not entirely analogous. Unlike Kosovo, Italy was a universally recognized state. A Catholic Church reeling since Italian unification required definition of its physical and political status. Also, there was no ethnic component to the problem because everyone involved (including the Pope) was Italian.

Nevertheless, the creation of a formally recognized state of Metohija as part of a deal under which Serbia recognizes Kosovo might weaken at least some clerics’ opposition to acknowledging the loss of a 90 percent Albanian entity. Ideally, Metohija would join the United Nations at the same time as Kosovo. Of course, this would not magically remove opposition to Kosovar sovereignty from all SPC hierarchs and priests. Hardline nationalists would continue to use religious symbolism in their protests and a few diehards would resort to violent attacks on those willing to accept such an agreement.   An SPC-run state in Metohija also would create controversy in the Orthodox Ecumene. Still, speaking as directly as possible to the specific demands of the SPC in and about Metohija might be a way to reduce the numbers and influence of Serbian spoilers who are sure to assault any Serb leader who has the courage to recognize Kosovo.  

Ukraine as Banquo’s Ghost

The war in Ukraine will crucially shape what happens next in Serbia, Kosovo, the Balkans, and Europe as a whole. Still, it is likely the West will intensify pressure on Balkan actors to come to heel however things turn out.

Another successful Ukrainian effort to roll back Russian conquests would shatter the rhetorical and diplomatic maneuvering Putin has used to restore Russia’s international stature in the face of military setbacks and the Wagner coup. Relieved Western powers would dust off the liberal institutionalist script and insist Balkans cooperate with Western-determined priorities. Vucic would scramble to buttress ties with the EU while deflecting US demands as best he can. If Kurti remains in power, he would find it difficult to deflect renewed demands that he establish the CSM. If he is gone, a new government in Pristina almost certainly would have no choice but to create it.

On the other hand, if Ukraine’s counteroffensive fails to satisfy expectations, Putin will be able to dig in, undermine Western unity, and craft another peace in which Western clients make concessions to their adversaries. Any deal that leaves Russia in control of more territory than it held on February 22, 2022, and leaves Ukraine out of NATO would mark a Russian strategic victory. Vucic would face domestic danger from his nationalist flank, but Moscow would likely be satisfied with how Belgrade deflected Western pressure during the conflict.

The EU and NATO would come out as losers. Angst or exultation (depending on the actor) over Western decline would skyrocket. Consider how weak and ineffectual the West would have appeared if Russian forces had conquered Ukraine quickly in February 2022. That will be the security context if Putin conjures diplomatic triumph from military failure. A diminished West would look for some way to prove it still leads a rules-based international order. The Balkans would likely be one place where that effort would take place.


[1] Rory Archer, “Student Mobilization in Kosovo:  1968, 1981 and 1997,” Polish Academy of Sciences, 2020.

[2] United Nations Security Council resolution 1244. RESOLUTION 1244 (1999), S/RES/1244 (10 June 1999).


[4] “Kosovo and Serbia Verbally Agree on ‘Implementation Deal’ to Normalize Ties,” BIRN, March 15, 2023, and “Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue: EU Proposal – Agreement on the Path to Normalization Between Kosovo and Serbia,” official statement of the European Union, February 27, 2023.

[5] “Protesters, Peacekeepers, Injured as Violence Erupts in North Kosovo,” Balkan Insight, May 29, 2023.

[6] “US Penalizes Kosovo After Unrest in Serb Majority Towns,” Balkan Insight, May 30, 2023.

[7] “Von der Layen 4-Pillar Plan to Bring Western Balkans Closer to EU,” European Western Balkans, May 31, 2023.

David Kanin
David Kanin

David B. Kanin is an Adjunct Lecturer at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).