The European Union’s (EU) efforts to resolve the escalating tensions between Serbia and Kosovo hit a roadblock during “crisis management” talks held Thursday in Brussels. Despite urgent calls for de-escalation, both sides failed to reach an agreement.

According to news reports, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Josep Borrell emphasized the need to diffuse the boiling situation and immediate elections in northern Kosovo involving ethnic Serbs. However, the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo, President Aleksandar Vucic and Prime Minister Albin Kurti, held separate discussions with Borrell, highlighting their divergent perspectives on the crisis.

The Struggle for Diplomatic Breakthrough

The recent escalation between Serbia and Kosovo stemmed from the detention of three Kosovo police officers by Serbia, following weeks of tension over disputed elections in the Serb-dominated northern Kosovo region. In response to the crisis, Borrell called on Serbia to release the officers unconditionally and underscored the significance of organizing fresh municipal elections in the heated northern region to alleviate the existing tensions.

During the crisis talks, which lasted for four hours, Borrell acknowledged that both leaders had understood the severity of the situation, although their differing approaches and interpretations hindered progress. The EU’s proposal for new elections was met with ambiguity, with no immediate agreement reached.

“Here is the core of the problem and also the core of the solution – early elections, as soon as possible,” Borrell told reporters hours after the dialogues.

The EU has previously taken a firm stance, warning Kosovo of potential political repercussions if it does not reverse its stance on the disputed elections. Consequences may include the suspension of high-level visits and financial cooperation. The top diplomat affirmed his intention to discuss the next steps with EU foreign ministers in an upcoming meeting, seeking to navigate the complex path toward resolution.