Serbia alarmed by new Kosovo recognitions

After mini-wave of recognitions of Kosovo’s independence, Belgrade plans a last stand at the forthcoming Non-Aligned Movement summit.

Serbia plans to use September’s meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade to halt a new wave of recognitions of Kosovo, which Serbia insists is still a province of Serbia.

In a mini-breakthrough for the small Balkan state, Kosovo was recognised last week by three African countries, Benin, Niger and Guinea-Conakry, as well as the island state of St Lucia in the Caribbean.

The new recognitions mean Kosovo has now been recognised by 81 out of 193 UN member states – still less than the number needed to take a seat at the UN but close enough to the half-way mark to worry Belgrade.

Milivoje Mihajlovic, head of the Serbian government’s information bureau, blamed the setbacks in Africa on the amount of money that Pristina had invested in obtaining new recognitions, and Western diplomatic pressure.

“These are small countries and their recognition of the self-proclaimed independence of Kosovo is primarily a result of lobbying from the West,” Mihajlovic said on Monday.

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