Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was due to meet Kosovo leader Hashim Thaçi on Saturday at the White House. This was at the suggestion of US envoy for Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Richard Grenell, after his much-publicised success in organising the meeting. However, his success was short lived after Thaçi became indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity on June 24 by the Kosovo Specialist Chambers and Specialist Prosecutor’s Office.
The US meeting has been put on hold until further notice, but as Vučić revealed, the EU will take over discussions between Belgrade and Pristina at a later date. It appears that France and Germany specifically will spearhead these meeting with the French Embassy in Kosovo saying on Thursday that “France and Germany expect Dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia to resume soon. Together with Chancellor Merkel, President Macron remains ready to host a Summit in Paris.” German Ambassador to Kosovo Christian Heldt tweeted: “Our governments stand ready to be helpful with [a] proposed meeting in July.”
Due to prosecutors in The Hague indicting Thaçi’s alleged war crimes during the 1998-99 Kosovo war, Kosovo’s new prime minister, Avdullah Hoti, said he could not travel to Washington to conduct talks with Serbia.
“Thank you, Prime Minister Hoti. We understand your decision and we look forward to rescheduling the meeting soon,” Grenell wrote on Twitter.
US President Donald Trump was hoping for a foreign policy victory just before the upcoming elections, but rather, the Kosovo experiment created by Bill Clinton in the 1990’s is beginning to crack. Thaçi in 1993 became a prominent member of the “Kosovo Liberation Army” (KLA) and became responsible for the finances and armaments of the terrorist organisation. The KLA financed its activities by turning Kosovo into a drug smuggling hub to distribute heroin and cocaine throughout Europe.
A 2008 report by German intelligence service BND accuses Thaçi of having deep involvement in organised crime, saying that “the key players (including Thaçi) are intimately involved in inter-linkages between politics, business, and organised crime structures in Kosovo,” and that Thaçi is leading a “criminal network operating throughout Kosovo.”
The charges laid against him by the prosecutor’s office in The Hague include murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture. He has also been accused of organ harvesting and drug trafficking by other reports and institutions. Although he has not been found guilty, it is well established that the KLA engaged in such activities, putting a mockery to the Albanian and Serbian Caucuses of US Congress suggestion in 2014 that Thaçi be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the Geneva School of Diplomacy giving him a Doctor Honoris Causa degree as a Doctor of International Relations, and the Montenegrin town of Ulcinj giving him the title of Honorary Citizen of Ulcinj.
Before the scheduled meeting, Vučić said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed him about worrying information concerning various Western plans and ideas regarding the solution to the Kosovo crisis. Vučić pointed out that he exchanged opinions with Lavrov on a number of issues but that the key topic was the relationship between the two countries and Russia’s support for the integrity of Serbia and the situation in Kosovo.
“We received certain assessments from the Russian Federation […] which worried me. They concern various plans and ideas regarding the solution to the Kosovo crisis. I do not want to deceive anyone and hide from the public: obviously we are facing a difficult period, in which we will face great pressure to realise some plans that we did not officially or unofficially get, but based on the assessments of our Russian friends, it seems that we will have to be very careful in following every idea that is presented to us,” Vučić said at the press conference after their meeting.
Thanking Russia for supporting Serbia in the United Nations and in all international forums, Vučić said that it had been agreed that Serbia would consult with Russia on an almost daily basis, emphasising that one thing was clear: “If at any time and in any place a solution is reached, any solution requires the consent of Russia. We do not want everyone else to be consulted without anyone asking Russia anything.”
He added that Russia supported the dialogue under the auspices of the EU, while Serbia is ready to listen to all other political actors and their ideas. He emphasised that Serbia will be able to protect its vital national interests, regardless of the price it will have to pay.
It begs the question whether the Trump administration now has the willingness to come up with a solution for Kosovo, especially as it is evident that the Albanians are connected with the Democrats in the U.S. and the criminal roots of Kosovo’s independence are being further exposed. The indictment against Thaçi is a major embarrassment for Washington as they have been the main backers of the illegal separation of Kosovo from Serbia. If Thaçi’s allegations are proven true by The Hague, it would mean Washington would have always known about the criminal activities of the KLA and the ongoing criminality in Kosovo’s government, but chose to ignore them to carve out a pro-US state from a pro-Russia Serbia.