In 1999, NATO intervened to stop the conflict between the two countries, after claiming more than 10,000 lives and leaving more than 1 million people homeless. Kosovo's independence, declared in 2008, has not been recognized by Belgrade, Russia, and five EU nations. The United States and more than 110 other countries have recognized Kosovo’s independence. Brussels started mediation in 2011 amid strained relations between Pristina and Belgrade.
During his first visit to Kosovo on January 30, in 2020, Borrell, the European Union's chief diplomat, continued the EU's policy of mediation, which has sought to bring the two countries back to the negotiation table after talks broke down in November 2018 when Pristina imposed a 100-percent tax on Serbian goods over Belgrade’s refusal to recognize Kosovo’s independence.
Josep Borrell, has emphasized the need for bilateral dialogue to resume between Serbia and Kosovo, saying it was the most effective way for them to mend ties. "My duty, my task, my endeavor, my objective, is to accompany, facilitate the negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo," Borrell said, after meeting with Kosovar President Hashim Thaci. "Because the problem can only be solved by Serbia and Kosovo…and the result can only come from an agreement between the two of them". "There is no other solution." Borrell said.