Financial TimesFinancial Times

Serbia and Kosovo: The West’s ill-fated push to heal the divide

By Marton Dunai

07 May 2023 · 9 min read

Editor's Note

The FT explores the precarious Kosovo-Serbia deal and its impact on the already volatile Balkans, as the EU and the U.S. attempt to stabilize the region amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Veteran Balkan politicians know better than to be enthusiastic about deals made under pressure in diplomatic back rooms. But the events of March 18 gave Visar Ymeri, a former leader of Kosovo’s ruling party, reason to be optimistic.

“We have a deal,” the EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said as he wrapped up a marathon summit in Ohrid, North Macedonia. “Kosovo and Serbia have agreed on the . . . normalisation of relations.”

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