Iconic director blasts Western Kosovo proposal — RT Games & Culture

The Western collective is effectively blackmailing Belgrade on the Kosovo issue, and agreeing to its proposal would only spark more demands, said iconic Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica. The award-winning director made the remarks in an interview with Russian newspaper Izvestia, excerpts of which were published on Tuesday.

The pressure on Serbia comes amid the ongoing conflict between Moscow and the West and, on a large scale, is part of a centuries-old struggle between major powers for control of access to warm seas, Kusturica said. The timing of the EU-designed deal involving Serbia and its breakaway province, Kosovo, led by France and Germany, is directly linked to these ongoing hostilities, he believes.

“This blackmail agreement came at a time when the Ukrainian-Russian conflict is evolving, when the Russians are advancing. They want to set the Balkans on fire and bring them to the point where the choice is either-or. It’s an ultimatum, not an agreement. Kusturica stressed, adding that accepting the deal would only lead to new ultimatums.

However, the director said he was convinced that Belgrade would never accept such a proposal.

The agreement, presented last year, envisages speeding up Serbia’s EU accession process in exchange for de facto recognition of Kosovo’s independence by Belgrade. This would become possible as Serbia accepts the breakaway province’s membership in international organizations such as the UN, EU and NATO. So far, Belgrade has resisted this scenario, but the West has continued to pressure the nation over it.

Last week Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said the agreement “hardly contains anything we would be happy about”, deploring the reluctance of the West to seek a compromise. Failure to accept the deal would result in the EU halting all integration processes, reimposing a visa regime, halting all new investment and withdrawing all ongoing ones, did he declare.

“We have the following choice: either, on the one hand, isolation, sanctions of one kind or another, but there are no worse sanctions than the withdrawal of investments, which I am told spoke directly three times”, Vucic said.

Kosovo broke away from Serbia during a war in the late 1990s after US-led NATO carried out a bombing campaign against Belgrade in 1999. Washington and many of its allies recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state after its parliament voted to declare formal independence in 2008, but Belgrade itself and nations like Russia and China have not.

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