June, 11th 2023
We, the signatories of this open letter, call on representatives of the United States and the European Union to immediately cease their policy of appeasement towards Serbia and to decisively advocate for the preservation of peace and democracy in the Balkans. We demand immediate action against Serbia for inciting violence and attacks on NATO peacekeeping troops, journalists, and local police officers in Kosovo.
The violent actions were clearly linked to Russia, as evidenced by the use of Russian war symbolism. Russia, which has brought war back to Europe, is not only militarily engaged on the territory of Ukraine but is also fighting against freedom and democracy in Europe on many levels. This includes the deliberate destabilization of the Balkans through Serbia, with the aim of diverting Western allies from the battlefield in Ukraine and deliberately dividing them. If the United States and the EU turn against Kosovo after the recent events, Serbia and Russia will be successful because Europe will be massively weakened.
Dodik and Vulin participate in a security conference in Moscow during these days of aggression against NATO peacekeeping troops, showing once again where their loyalty lies. We must not continue to ignore the reality and must face it head-on. Just like Putin, Vucic feels threatened by democratization processes in his neighborhood and fights them with all means at his disposal.
We cannot allow him to be successful in affecting the democracy of neighboring countries and making it the basis of his aggression against the independent Republic of Kosovo. We must protect democracy and not sacrifice it. To do this, we must set limits to the true provocateur in a united manner. The policy of appeasement did not work with Putin either. We are currently experiencing the consequences in Ukraine.
Insisting on the implementation of the Association of Serbian Municipalities in Kosovo in the current situation poses a massive threat to stability in the region. We need a new solution adapted to the current situation that protects the interests of the Serbian minority in Kosovo. This solution should be found through a participatory process involving all stakeholders and not be dictated by either Belgrade, Washington, or Brussels.
The people of Kosovo wish for nothing more than peaceful coexistence in a functioning democracy. Allies of Kosovo should help ensure that this is possible by rejecting threats and aggression from outside and disciplining and sanctioning those who engage in aggressive and violent behavior, rather than those who are genuinely concerned about security and democracy in their country based on their own experiences.
The normalization process must be accompanied by competent individuals who are capable of reaching a solution that secures both democracy and peace in Europe. Any appeasement of aggressive, violent, or destructive behavior by Serbia must be immediately stopped, as well as any obvious, one-sided support of Vucic at the expense of the Kosovars (such as by Escobar and Hill). It must be ensured that Serbia does not abandon the normalization process before fulfilling all its obligations or unnecessarily delays to avoid implementation for as long as possible.
A joint, decisive action by the government of the Republic of Kosovo, opposition parties, and US and EU allies against the provocations and escalations by Serbia can break the cycle of violence and achieve lasting peace in the Balkans. Serbia must understand that the West is determined to maintain peace and security in Kosovo and the region, and that any attempt by Serbia to undermine this will have serious consequences.
We want peace and democracy in the Balkans and throughout Europe. For this, we need a resolute response to the true aggressors. The enemies of our democracy and values are autocrats like Putin and Vucic. Democracy must never allow its conditions to be dictated by autocrats.