The request has sparked a new crisis between Belgrade and Pristina. Last week, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic warned Kosovo of a “strong and serious” response by Belgrade to Pristina’s move, “much stronger than they think.” Yesterday, Vucic announced the convening of a meeting of the Serbian National Security Council before Saturday and reproached Kosovo for trying to “take advantage” of the Ukraine crisis to join the Council of Europe by presenting Serbia as Russia’s “long arm” in the Balkans.
The Serbian leader also criticised Pristina for rushing to ask to join the Council, while for almost 10 years it has not had the will to set up the Community of Serbian Municipalities.
By joining the Council of Europe, Kosovo is attempting to take a further step in its process of international recognition. Since its 2008 declaration of independence, the Balkan republic has not been able to join either the UN or the European Union.