The UN Security Council meeting of July 6 appears to not have changed anything by itself. But the events of the past week may have focused some minds on how to avoid further deterioration in the situation along the Ibar. Possibly not the Albanian minds – Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi is still lobbing verbal incendiaries in the service of his political ambitions – nor the US – still pledging support for Pristina's unilateral moves into the north. But maybe the EU? WAZ reports once again on possible evolution in Brussel's thinking about how to deal with the north in a political manner that could be acceptable to Belgrade. It would include some sort of special status for the north – Ahtisaari-plus – and some form of relationship between Belgrade and Pristina. (I wrote about this possibility in TransConflict.) Also, EULEX reportedly is dropping charges against the leader of the northern Serb National Council (SNC), Milan Ivanović. These were always more political in nature anyway.
The EU has reason to back away from support for Pristina unilateralism. The recent incidents smack of “dark ops” efforts to provoke violence and crisis. While nothing I can confirm, a local source reports that the July 2 grenade attack came from a group of Albanians with semi-automatic weapons spotted in streets and houses around the Kosovo office building and including at least one in the attic of the building itself. But before anyone could react or get way, the grenades were thrown. We'll see what the police say if they are able to arrive at any clarity.
Kosovo Serb Petar Miletić, injured in an armed attack on July 5, now says he does not believe it was due to his participation in the Kosovo parliament. (Miletić had been living in north Mitrovica quite unmolested for some time.) His wounds, along the lines apparently of a mafia-style knee-capping, suggests more of a hit perhaps to further incite or discredit the Serbs.
It is clear that as the ICJ decision approaches, some in Pristina are getting more anxious about expecting help from that quarter. Anything now which would inject some new crisis into the mix might be seen as offering the Albanian side a way to pre-empt the decision by allowing an armed intervention. In these dangerous times, any increased caution by the EU with a more determined tilt toward status neutrality would be the right thing and the smart thing to do.