A new statement today from the 25-nation Steering Group for the “International Civilian Office” (ICO) confirms that it is possible that ICO could end the years of “supervised independence” in Kosovo later this year.
The Steering Group says that the Kosovo government is to “start preparations for an organized end to supervised independence” by the end of 2012, saying it would transform Kosovo into a “normal European state.”
But the statelet still claimed by Serbia has little international recognition, including from two permanent UN Security Council members, Russia and China. Kosovo’s NATO-mandated secession from Serbia in the midst of a NATO occupation remains controversial, particularly as a number of ethnic Serbian towns were blocked them from trading with their neighbors still inside Serbia. NATO troops continue to enforce the closed border.
The Steering Group went on to warn Serbia against allowing Kosovar Serbs, who remain Serbian citizens, to vote in the upcoming Serbian elections. They also warned Serbia to remove all police from Kosovo territory. Serbia insists it has no police in Kosovo.