Problems in Greek-Serbian relations over Kosovo?

Greece Serbia

"Greece assures us that it will not recognise Kosovo," Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said in a televised interview on Wednesday, sparking talks on Greece recognising Kosovo.

The rumors are not new, as information has been circulating from Pristina for the past two months that Greece is ready to recognise Kosovo's independence from Serbia.

I have personally received several phone calls from colleagues in Pristina and Belgrade asking me to confirm or deny these rumours.

According to rumours, France is preparing through Emmanuel Macron to submit a proposal for an interim agreement, where Northern Kosovo and Metohija will gain autonomy, as well as the Serbian Orthodox Church a special status.

In return, Kosovo will be recognised by Greece and visas for Kosovo's citizens will be issued.

The American side also seems to be moving in this direction, according to rumours.

Commenting on the allegations, the Serbian President said: "We can talk about this in the coming days."

"I would not speak in advance before we are sure what is on the table," he stressed.

Vučić continued, "I'm waiting to see, since there have been some changes in relations, whether it is a commercial office or there is a 'point of interest' between Pristina and Athens."

"We will see how it goes, so we will inform the public," the president said.

"They (the Greeks) assure us that they will not recognize Kosovo, and these allegations we have heard is certainly not the best news for us," Vučić added.

The growing reports from Kosovo media about recognition by Greece are characterised as anything but accidental.

According to information from Pristina, the source of the rumours is former Director of the Diplomatic Office of the Greek Prime Minister and current Ambassador of Greece to Washington, Alexandra Papadopoulou, who was Head of EULEX.

Papadopoulou, having acquired personal relations with the Pristina leadership during her tenure in Pristina, has long promoted Kosovo's positions at the Greek Foreign Ministry.

It is no coincidence that for the first time a Greek Prime Minister in September 2019 met at the offices of the country's permanent delegation to the UN with then President Hashim Thaçi.

What made an impression at that time was that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with Thaçi, a President of an unrecognised country, but there was no meeting with the Serbian President.

In my comment to the then Government Spokesman, Stelios Petsas, that there would be a diplomatic incident with Serbia if there is no meeting with Vučić, he seemed surprised.

As a result, the next day we were informed that there would be a meeting with the Serbian President.

Leaving the offices of the Greek Delegation to the UN, Vučić told me exclusively that Mitsotakis will not recognise Kosovo.

Since then, Papadopoulou, director of the Prime Minister's Diplomatic Office, has moved to Washington, reportedly continuing contacts with the U.S. administration in Kosovo.

For those who know the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, she said in a private meeting with Mitsotakis that:

"I will not leave Athens if I do not have the date for your visit to Belgrade for when we will be able to have the fourth meeting of the Supreme Cooperation Council."

Mitsotakis and Ana Brnabić.

Everything shows that clouds have gathered over the relationship between Greece and Serbia, despite the efforts of both sides to hide this fact.

Spiros Sideris is a correspondent for Anatropi News.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor