Sabria and Kosovo signed in Ohrid and will publish an agreement and an annex to it, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security, Josep Borrell, said today.
I have not signed anything because I do not want to conclude international legal agreements with Kosovo, which I will not recognize as a state, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said minutes later.
The leaders of the two countries negotiated in Ohrid, RSM. The talks between the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, with the mediation of the European Union, lasted more than ten hours yesterday.
C. Now publishes the annex to the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, which expired from the meeting in Ohrid:
Annex on the implementation of the Agreement on the path to normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia
This Annex is an integral part of the Agreement.
Kosovo and Serbia undertake to fully comply with all articles of the Agreement and this Annex and to fulfill all their obligations arising from the Agreement and this Annex in a timely and good faith manner.
The parties note that the Agreement and the Implementation Schedule will become inseparable part of the respective processes for the accession of Kosovo and Serbia to the EU. The parties note that immediately after the acceptance of the Agreement and this appendix, the intermediary of The EU will start the process of changing the Chapter 35 criteria for Serbia due to the obligations arising from the agreement and this application. The agenda of the Special Task Force on Kosovo Normalization will reflect the same Kosovo’s new obligations arising from the Agreement and this Annex.
The parties agree urgently to accept the Missing Persons Declarationas agreed in the framework of the EU-mediated dialogue.
In order to implement Article 7, Kosovo shall immediately start negotiations within the framework of the EU-mediated dialogue to establish concrete arrangements and guarantees for ensuring an adequate level of self-government for the Serbian community in Kosovoin accordance with the relevant previous dialogue agreements established by the EU mediator.
The parties agree to establish a Joint Monitoring Board chaired by the EU, within 30 days. The implementation of all regulations will be ensured and monitored by the Joint Monitoring Board.
In order to apply Article 9, The EU will organize a donor conference within 150 days to create an investment and financial aid package for Kosovo and Serbia. The aid will not be granted until the EU establishes that all provisions of the agreement have been fully implemented.
Kosovo and Serbia agree that they will implement all points independently of each other.
The order of the paragraphs of this appendix does not call into question the order of their implementation.
Kosovo and Serbia agree that they will not block the implementation of any article.
All discussions related to the implementation of the agreement will take place within the framework of the EU-led dialogue.
Kosovo and Serbia have recognized that any failure to fulfill their obligations under the Agreement, this Annex or previous dialogue agreements may have direct negative consequences for their EU accession processes and for the financial assistance they receive from the EU.
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic negotiated for nearly 12 hours during the Ohrid summit. They discussed an 11-point plan presented by the EU last month during a summit in Brussels. It envisages the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries 15 years after Kosovo declared independence, with Kosovo and Serbia accepting each other’s travel documents, diplomas, license plates and customs stamps. The agreement would clear Kosovo’s path to membership in international organizations, and the government in Pristina would create a structure for the autonomy of the Serbs (Association of Serbian Municipalities, known in Serbian as ZSO), who make up 6-7% of the population. In the end, however, the two sides failed to reach a final agreement to be signed by both, BGNES reported.
Both leaders acknowledged that progress had been made, but were quick to lash out at the other leader for failing to put pen to paper. Kosovo leader Kurti said he was ready to sign the document, but accused the Serbian leader of failing to sign the plan a second time. “The other side, as at the last meeting in Brussels on February 27, is avoiding signing the agreement, now the annex,” Kurti told reporters. “Now the European Union must find a mechanism to make the status of this agreement legally and internationally binding,” he said.
“I think we have taken an important step in a constructive atmosphere and we will start working on something,” commented Serbian President Vucic. “Pristina is committed to start the formation of the Community of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija. Whether they will do it or not is not known,” he added.
Vucic is expected to address the nation soon – to present all the points of the annex to the citizens and tell them what was discussed at the meeting. Meanwhile, in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, thousands of people rallied against the agreement. “This ultimatum … is not an agreement, but a betrayal,” Milica Djurdjevic Stamenkovski, head of the ultra-nationalist Zavetnitsi group, told the crowd.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said a framework for implementing the plan had been reached, but the path to normalizing ties remained elusive. “The parties have not been able to find a mutually acceptable solution as ambitious as we envisioned or proposed,” he said.
The US envoy for the Western Balkans, Gabriel Escobar, said that a difficult but necessary agreement had been reached between Belgrade and Pristina. “Without the help of our ally North Macedonia, this could not have been organized. This is just another example of how the US and the European Union are a reliable partner in achieving regional stability. I congratulate both sides for reaching a difficult but necessary agreement to achieve peaceful relations. Now this opens the door to better and greater European integration. I appreciate the great effort and work of our European colleagues. The US promises to help implement the agreement,” he said in Ohrid.