A recent decision by U.S. President Joseph Biden's administration to impose sanctions against Aleksandar Vulin could be a turning point indicating that the U.S. has decided to call Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to account for his internal, regional and international agendas, U.S. expert on foreign policy Edward P. Joseph told Demostat in an interview.
Permitting Vucic and his proxies, like Vulin, to be irresponsible is not the way to make progress in policies concerning Russia, Kosovo, Serbian democracy or other important matters in Serbian-U.S. relations. I think the U.S. has more than shown that it wants friendly relations with Serbia, said Joseph, a lecturer at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington.
He said it was of essential importance for the European Union and U.S. to effect an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina on a firm sequence for implementing the Ohrid Agreement and for each side to have guarantees that the other will carry out what was agreed. On the topic of possible progress, Joseph reiterated that Serbia had a lever in negotiations thanks to countries that do not recognize Kosovo.
This removes the incentive for Serbia to close the Kosovo issue, unless Belgrade gets some form of "compensation." As long as the Kosovo issue is open, Belgrade has no motivation to finally pick a strategic orientation be that the West or something else. That means that not only are Kosovo Serbs pawns -- all Serbian citizens are hostages of this conflict, he said.