Overall, what was signed on September 4 in the Oval Office was clearly intended to serve Trump`s re-election in the short term and did not reflect any long-term commitment from the White House to advance the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. The Trump administration hailed the agreement as “historic” and a “major breakthrough” – it`s in fact neither historic nor a breakthrough. The “deal” is based on erroneous logic and will not carry much water after the November elections, regardless of the results. If Washington is truly committed to promoting the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, it should cooperate closely with the EU and, as Edward Joseph, a foreign policy expert in the Balkans at Johns Hopkins, the four NATO and EU members who do not recognise Kosovo (Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain) briefly points out. Such a move would pave the way for Kosovo`s accession to NATO (since Pristina`s accession to the UN is not possible because of the Chinese and Russian veto in the Security Council), would create a level playing field for the conduct of negotiations with Belgrade, as the current field is highly distorted in favour of the latter and would ultimately pave the way for a comprehensive political agreement between the two neighbours. With or without amendment to the Serbian Constitution, it is not possible for northern Kosovo to repeat over and over again that it rejects the Belgrade-Pristina agreement, but that it is also a normal part of the Serbian legal and administrative system, because Belgrade entrusts it to the authority of Pristina. The North is thinking of three options. It can submit to integration into the Kosovo system and strive to expand the space of autonomy it offers them. It may declare its independence in order to negotiate a better agreement with one or both states that claim it. Or perhaps, on his own initiative, without formal explanations, undermine and obstruct the agreement where he can, and hope for a renegotiation. The next important moment was the parliamentary elections in Serbia. The Meeting in Washington was originally scheduled for 27 June, six days after Serbia`s 21 June parliamentary elections, boycotted by most opposition parties because of the ruling party`s control of traditional media and the misuse of public resources. The elections won a convincing victory for President Vuéié`s European Democratic Progress Party, which won 60.65 per cent of the votes cast without any real opposition parties represented in the new Parliament.
For the U.S. government, it was not the state of democracy in Serbia that was important, but the fact that Vuéié now had all the levers of power in hand, making it an ideal partner for signing the agreement.