Two days of so-called “last-ditch” talks on the future of the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo have failed to make any progress and remain deadlocked. Serbia’s Minister for Kosovo, Slobodan Samardzic, said only the United Nations could make a decision, and Belgrade would impose sanctions if Kosovo declared unilateral independence.
“It will react as each normal country in Europe would react if its territory would be in danger,” he said.
But Kosovo’s would-be prime minister Hashim Thaci refused to compromise. “We can discuss, we can have negotiations for 100 years more, but between Kosovo and Serbia for status we can have no compromise. Kosovo will be a state, and this process will continue through peace and stability. No more war, no more killing, no more crisis in the region,” he said.
Kosovo’s mainly-Albanian population demands independence from Serbia, something which terrifies its Serbian minority. Hundreds have died in ethnic violence since the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Kosovo has been run by the UN since NATO attacks ended the former Yugoslavia’s crackdown on the province’s independence ambitions in 1999.