Director of the U.S. Penn Biden Center and former Pentagon official Michael Carpenter said on Feb. 13 that gains in relations between Belgrade and Pristina would be hard before an election in Serbia and that there was no full solution without the recognition of Kosovo.
In an interview with the Voice of America, Carpenter said that geopolitical disputes like Serbia's and Kosovo's were always hard to solve in an election year, but added that a solution was possible if a lot more efforts and resources were invested.
He said that U.S. special presidential envoy for talks between Serbia and Kosovo Richard Grenell "has already achieved a lot in talks on renewing direct flights between the two countries."
"If the Kosovo Cabinet lifts taxes (on imports from Serbia and Bosnia), this would be a positive sign. If Grenell succeeds in this, than I think that he will have at least entered an area in which he can achieve more progress in the near future," Carpenter said.
He added that the tax issue and other reasons for disputes and animosity needed to be solved as soon as possible so that work could begin on an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo.