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EU should finally stop its appeasement policy towards Serbia

Today, the European Parliament called on EU member states to adopt targeted restrictive measures against Serbian destabilising actors in relation to the unprecedented terrorist attack against Kosovo police officers, carried out by Serbian paramilitaries on 24 September in the north of Kosovo.
 
As stated in the resolution adopted by the Parliament, the sanctions should include – but not be limited to – asset freeze and travel bans against destabilising actors in the north of Kosovo, such as Milan Radoičić who claimed responsibility for organising the aforementioned terrorist attack.
 
The Socialists and Democrats, who were the first to call for sanctions against Serbia after the terrorist attack and who requested the resolution, underline that this is key to get the balance right and to revive the dialogue, which is the only solution for the normalisation of relations between Serbia and Kosovo.
 
Tonino Picula, S&D spokesperson for foreign affairs and negotiator on the resolution on Serbia and Kosovo, said:
 
“The cowardly terrorist attack, which we condemn in the strongest terms, is a watershed moment, unprecedented in post-war times. This calls for serious political consequences, such as targeted sanctions against destabilising actors in the north of Kosovo.
 
“Furthermore, we call on the EU Commission to freeze the pre-accession funding intended for Serbia if the investigations reveal that the Serbian state was directly involved either in the September terrorist attack or in the previous violent May attacks in the north of Kosovo, or if the Serbian authorities refuse to fully cooperate.
 
“The situation is extremely worrying; in particular the Serbian army build-up close to the border with Kosovo. That is why we call on NATO to come up with a containment plan for the north of Kosovo, and we urge EU member states to deploy additional troops in the country without further delay.
 
“Serbia’s continued close relationship with Russia and China raises serious questions about the country’s strategic direction. We remain very concerned about the destabilising influence of the Serbian authorities, led by president Aleksandar Vučić, on the whole region.
 
“On top of this, we regret the EU sanctions against Kosovo and call for them to be lifted as soon as possible. At the same time, we call on Kosovo to establish the Association of Serb-Majority Municipalities in line with the agreements reached within the EU-facilitated dialogue.
 
“The only solution is normalisation of relations through compromise, for which we need proper investigation and prosecution; no further escalation and return of both sides to EU-facilitated dialogue. In this context, we also call on the EU to propose a new, innovative and balanced approach to overcome the stalemate.”

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