President Vucic called this an achievement of Serbian diplomacy.
Belgrade has convinced seven nations to withdraw their recognition of Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic claimed on Saturday. He did not name any of the countries, but hailed this as an achievement of Serbian diplomacy, showing that Belgrade enjoys the support of the majority of the world.
“At this moment, in my drawer and in the drawer of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, there are seven documents confirming Kosovo’s derecognition,” Vucic said during an address to the nation. He noted that Pristina is seeking recognition from Vietnam and Kenya, and that Belgrade has “also worked” with these nations. It remains unclear, however, if the positions of these two nations on Kosovo has changed in any way.
Instead, Vucic said that his nation’s diplomats “did not sit idly by” in the face of Kosovo’s “constant” attempts to win over the international community for its cause. “Now, the number of countries that have withdrawn their recognition has increased from four to seven,” he added.
Serbia’s foreign minister, Nikola Selakovic, said in May that four nations had withdrawn their recognition of Kosovo but did not name them either. These nations would be named when necessary, he said at the time.
Vucic made his remarks as Serbia and Kosovo reached a deal on freedom of movement. Belgrade agreed to allow holders of Kosovo IDs to freely travel to Serbia and Pristina said it would grant the same rights to the holders of Serbian IDs, including Kosovo Serbs living in the northern part of the breakaway region. Vucic maintained that the measure was taken solely “for practical reasons” and does not constitute a step towards Pristina’s recognition by Belgrade.
The deal mediated by the EU followed weeks of tensions between Serbia and Kosovo. Certain issues straining relations between Pristina and Belgrade, including license plates, remain unresolved.
Less than half of the UN member states have recognized Kosovo since the breakaway region unilaterally declared independence from Belgrade in 2008. Not all EU members recognize Kosovo: Greece, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain are yet to do so.
Out of the G20, 11 nations recognize it and eight do not. Those not recognizing the breakaway region’s independence include Russia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Indonesia, and Mexico.
Previously, Belgrade has claimed it managed to convince 18 nations to withdraw their Kosovo recognition. The list of nations that allegedly did so, according to the Serbian authorities, mostly includes countries in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia-Pacific region. Kosovo brushes off such statements as “Serbian propaganda.”