Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s release of three Kosovo policemen is seen as a positive development, according to the State Department. “We’re glad they’ll be reunited with their families,” noted Matt Miller.

In Monday’s press briefing, veteran journalist Matt Lee raised the question of the involvement of a former US official from the previous administration in mediating the release of the three Kosovo police officers.

“There is certainly a former US official from the previous administration who is saying that he played a role in this. I don’t know whether it’s true or not,” remarked Matt Lee. 

“I’m not aware of that,” responded Blinken’s spokesperson. 

Following the inquiries raised by Matt Lee during the briefing, The Pavlovic Today obtained insights from a senior government official in the Office of the President who possesses direct knowledge of President Vucic’s decision-making. The official confirmed unequivocally that the former US official from the previous administration “played no part” in the mediation process. Instead, the official revealed that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had some level of involvement, contrary to the earlier suggestion of a former US official’s role.

Serbian President Vucic in a meeting with PM Orban. [Photo: Dimitrije Goll]

In his statement on Monday ahead of the release of the three Kosovo policemen, Prime Minister Orban stated, “Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has just informed me that, in accordance with the request made at our meeting last week, the Serbian authorities will soon release the three previously arrested Kosovo policemen from custody.”

Orban said that the step taken by President Vucic is “highly” appreciated. “This decision serves as a clear proof of the strategic cooperation between our countries and our mutual commitment to the peace and stability of the Balkans,” added Orban. 

President of Hungary Katalin Novak stated on Tuesday, “Hungary helps where it can. I salute the wise decision of the Serbian President Vucic to release the three police officers following the Hungarian proposal made at our press conference after the Serbian-Hungarian Strategic Cooperation Council last week. A good move towards consolidation.”

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller confirmed that Secretary Blinken had a conversation with Serbian President Vucic on Monday. Miller disclosed that Blinken “welcomed the news of the release of the three Kosovo police officers.”

Secretary Blinken engaged also in a discussion with Prime Minister Albin Kurti, emphasizing the need for an “immediate de-escalation” in Kosovo’s northern region. Additionally, he urged the mayors to relocate their operations to alternative locations.

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department at...

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