Home Page
news 26 Mar 13

Serbia Cannot Choose EU Over Kosovo, President Says

Tomislav Nikolic says Serbia cannot be asked to choose between its hopes of EU membership and its claim to the former province of Kosovo.

Tanjug, B92, BIRN Belgrade

"It is not possible to choose between Europe and Kosovo," Nikolic told Serbian broadcaster B92 on Monday, referring to frequent foreign demands that Belgrade make one or other issue the priority.

Kosovo declared independence in February 2008 but Serbia strongly opposes the move. In March 2011, an EU-mediated technical dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia was launched aimed to normalize relations between the two countries, both of which aspire to EU membership.

"Normalisation" of relations with Kosovo is the EU's main precondition for Serbia as it continues to pursue EU membership. Serbia obtained EU candidate country status in March 2012 and is hoping to get a start date for membership talks in June.

But, according to Nikolic, Serbia has red lines that it will not cross, including recognizing Kosovo as an independent state. The second is allowing any armed force, other than its own, to act on the territory of the Serbian community.

In the meantime, Nikolic added, the Serbian community "should have the competencies to which local self-governments are legally entitled, so that the administration in Pristina cannot obstruct the exercise of these powers".

He was referring in this instance to the planned Association of Serbian Municipalities, which Serbia and Kosovo are due to agree on in Brussels on April 2.

Nikolic said that concrete plans concerning the exact powers of the Association will be announced by Thursday.

The President also added that the government had been exposed to great pressures to reach a deal on Kosovo, not mentioning them but presumably from abroad.

"All key officials in Serbia, particularly Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and First Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic were exposed to pressures by those wanting agreements on Kosovo signed as soon as possible," Nikolic said.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

one-kosovo-albanian-killed-two-wounded-in-kosovo-north News 29 Aug 14 Man Shot Dead in Woods in Northern Kosovo

A Kosovo Albanian has been killed and two others were wounded in the forests in Kosovo, allegedly by a person in a Serbian army uniform.

kosovo-serbs-condemn-albanian-protest News 29 Aug 14 Kosovo Protesters Stop Serbs From Attending Church

Several hundred Kosovo Albanians protesting about missing persons from the conflict of the 1990s prevented a busload of Serbs from attending a church service in western Kosovo.

kosovo-serbia-readies-to-build-joint-border-crossings News 26 Aug 14 Kosovo Optimistic About Joint Border Crossings

Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister has predicted that joint border controls with Serbia, in line with the agreement on Integrated Border Management, will soon be up and running.

ivanovic-to-apear-before-kosovo-court-on-august-26 News 18 Aug 14 Kosovo Serb Leader Awaits War Crimes, Murder Trial

Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic will go on trial on August 26 for war crimes during the Kosovo conflict as well as committing murder during clashes that erupted afterwards.

serbia-kosovo-intepret-deal-on-mitrovica-bridge-differently news 23 Jul 14 Serbia, Kosovo Far Apart on Mitrovica Bridge Deal

EU-led talks on the controversial 'Peace Park erected in the divided northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica have ended with widely differing versions of what was agreed in Brussels.

kosovo-announces-fresh-recognitions News 22 Jul 14 Kosovo Says More Recognitions Are in Sight

Kosovo minister say two more states plan to recognise its statehood by September, though neither country has been named and such predictions have proved false in the past.

kosovo-serbs-threaten-with-massive-quits-from-kosovo-institutions news 21 Jul 14 Kosovo Serbs Threaten to Quit Pristina's Institutions

Local leaders in the Serb-run north of Kosovo are threatening a collective resignation from Pristina-led institutions unless arrested Serbs are freed ahead of their trials.

serbian-politician-banned-from-entering-kosovo News 01 Jul 14 Serbian Politician Banned from Entering Kosovo

Marko Djuric, director of the Serbian government’s office for Kosovo, was denied entry by police at the Jarinje border crossing who said he did not have the right permit from Pristina.

vetevendosje-insists-in-changing-kosovo-serbia-dialogue News 26 Jun 14 Kosovo Nationalists Demand End to Serbia Talks

As a condition for supporting an opposition coalition seeking to form a government after recent polls, the nationalist Vetevendosje Movement wants EU-backed dialogue with Belgrade to stop.

kosovo-serb-leaders-decided-to-participate-in-election News 04 Jun 14 Serb Leaders End Prevarication Over Kosovo Election

After talks with the Serbian government, the Srpska List has finally called on Kosovo Serbs to vote on Sunday - regardless of the ongoing dispute over ballots.