Pristina shivers in the snow today, but Kosovo is aglow with the election victory of Hashin Thaci and the promise his Democratic Party of Kosovo is to lead them to independence in 21 days time.
Press headlines range from “PDK keeps all options open”, to “Thaci new prime minister for peace and independence”, to “Kosovo’s Gerry Adams”.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels however warned against any rush to independence. Germany’s Frank Walter Steinmeier;
“The consequences can only be taken into account after the December the 10th deadline, but you can be sure that Europe’s foreign ministers and the German government are thinking about the options, and preparing for them”.
Serbia’s deputy prime minister is also in Brussels, and insists ongoing talks aimed at defusing the crisis could be going better;
“We are the side that’s been flexible, innovative, constructive, and now we expect the European Union , the troika, to ask the same thing from the Kosovo Albanians, who for the time being have offered nothing in this negotiation process”, he insists.
Hashim Thaci would say the opposite, that repeated overtures to Belgrade have fallen on deaf ears. It is a symptom of bilateral relations seemingly doomed to fail.