Koha Ditore reports in its lead story that the key international mediator Martti Ahtisaari is convinced that the issue of Kosovo will be concluded this year.
Quoting a ‘reliable’ source from Vienna, Koha Ditore reports that the negotiations on Kosovo status will be concluded at the end of November and the solution that will be decided will be applied even if Belgrade does not accept it.
“Ahtisaari is convinced to conclude the work by the end of November,” said the senior European official, says the paper.
The unnamed official said in an informal meeting where Koha Ditore was present that Serbs should sober up and face the messages related to Kosovo status that the internationals have been sending for months now, because the prevailing opinion in Ahtisaari’s team and also among other key international factors is that Belgrade will not accept the solution and that the international community is preparing to move forward even without Serbian consent.
According to the same source some Kosovo Serb representatives have told Ahtisaari that they are ‘fed up’ with the current situation and that they just ask for ‘guarantees for security and autonomy’ and they would accept the solution agreed in Vienna.
The source further said that it is essential that Russia has changed its stance and that it no longer supports the division of Kosovo. “Until recently Russia supported the option of dividing Kosovo in two parts, but now they have changed their position and are no longer an obstacle,” it said. Furthermore, the Russians have made it clear to Kostunica, but he pretends not to hear, says the source.
In a separate box within the article Koha Ditore says that, according to a senior diplomatic source, Serbs complained to Ahtisaari that Kosovo shouldn’t be taken away from them because of Milosevic as it would be unfair. “You cannot punish us for something Milosevic did,” they told him. “But we cannot reward you, either,” Ahtisaari is quoted as replying.