Last-chance talks on the future of Serbia’s breakaway province of Kosovo open in Vienna Aug. 30, with no hope of a breakthrough. Kosovo Albanians demanding independence after eight years under UN rule, and Serbs insisting they can never have it, are dug in too deeply on opposite sides of the issue. The preferred strategy of the European Union (EU) and the U.S. to bring Kosovo to supervised independence through the United Nations Security Council has failed, following Russia’s declared intention to veto, the International Crisis Group (ICG) says in a new report. With Kosovo Albanians increasingly restive and likely soon to declare unilateral independence in the absence of a credible alternative, Europe risks a new bloody and destabilizing conflict. To avoid chaos on its doorstep, the EU and its member states must now accept the primary responsibility for bringing Kosovo to supervised independence, the ICG argues.
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