Playing With Fire in the Balkans

In the dispute over Kosovo’s independence, reports suggest partition of Kosovo may be on the table.

Jacob L. Shapiro |August 1, 2018

Last week, a Kosovo-based newspaper published a bombshell report claiming that the U.S. and Russia agreed at the Helsinki summit to a possible partition of Kosovo to solve the ongoing dispute over Kosovo’s independence – an option the U.S. opposed in the past. According to the Gazeta Express, the deal would involve Kosovo giving Serbia territory in return for recognition of its independence – essentially exchanging land for peace. The report also suggested that this would pave the way for Kosovo, which is almost entirely ethnically Albanian, to become a de facto Albanian province. Russia’s Foreign Ministry ridiculed the report last Friday, describing it as “highly dangerous” and “absolute misinformation.” Yet, Serbia’s foreign minister told reporters in Washington after wrapping up two days of meetings with U.S. officials that he found the U.S. amenable to compromise on the Kosovo issue for the first time in 30 years – and that this might form the basis for a reset

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