Rough ride for EU
Rough ride for EU
Belgrade is fighting its battle on another front by refusing to acknowledge the European mission (EULEX), and pledging its cooperation only to UNMIK, which arrived in Kosovo in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244.
Following the official example, Kosovo Serb civilians are also cooperating only with UNMIK and KFOR, and not with the EU mission (which has not been positioned in northern Kosovo) or the Pristina institutions.
The EU is putting tremendous pressure on UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to mark the end of UNMIK's mission and invite EULEX to take over. However, the secretary-general is also facing an intense drive from Russia and other countries that have sided with Belgrade, which leaves UNMIK on the field.
Last week, the EU admitted that the takeover of authority would require more than the initially planned 120 days. Some members of the EU even think it would be wise for UNMIK to remain in the Serb enclaves.
"The situation is still volatile, particularly north of the river Ibar, in northern Kosovo," the chairman of the EU Council of Ministers Dimitrij Rupel told a press conference at the end of the meetings of the Council of Ministers in Brussels last week.
Rupel said UNMIK should take control of a border between Serbia and Kosovo. The Slovenian foreign minister admitted that the planned transition between UNMIK and EULEX would take longer and will require more effort.
Peter Feith, the international civilian representative in Kosovo, says that his mission is not coming to Kosovo to establish a NATO state, adding that it is politically impossible to admit a mistake and go back to the previous state of affairs. (blog editor's highlight)
In a 12 March interview for the Serbian Vecernje Novosti daily, Feith said his first impression after coming to Kosovo was "it could have been worse," adding that the worst was perhaps still to come.
The EU envoy went on to say that the EU mission would attempt to be as "invisible" as possible, adding that it was necessary for the Kosovo cabinet to assume power. In addition, he stressed that if Pristina tried to endanger the Serb community in Kosovo, he would not hesitate to use his powers, even if that meant dismissing and banning the violators of the rules.