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.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Serbia - Kosovo Relations: Latest Headlines

serbia-accused-of-provoking-kosovo-over-train-01-16-2017 News 16 Jan 17 Serbia Accused of Provoking Kosovo Over Train

Serbian opposition politicians and experts have condemned Belgrade’s decision to send a train covered in nationalist slogans and pictures to Kosovo as unnecessarily provocative.

multi-ethnic-states-have-failed-in-the-balkans-01-16-2017 Comment 16 Jan 17 Multi-ethnic States Have Failed in the Balkans

In response to Jasmin Mujanovic’s comment article, ‘New Partitions are the Last Thing the Balkans Need,’ Timothy Less maintains that the Balkan countries lack even the most basic elements needed to make multi-ethnicity work, so it is time to consider a new territorial settlement.

serbian-pm-kosovo-tried-to-provoke-conflict--01-14-2017 news 14 Jan 17 Serbia Accuses Kosovo of Planning Attack on Train

Aleksandar Vucic has accused Kosovo of sending special forces to attack the first train to run in many years from Belgrade to the northern, Serb-run part of Kosovo, claiming the Kosovars planned 'a conflict of broad proportions'.

serbia-demands-haradinaj-extradition-from-france-01-13-2017 News 13 Jan 17 Serbia Demands Haradinaj’s Extradition from France

The Serbian government urged France to send former Kosovo Liberation Army commander and ex-PM Ramush Haradinaj to Belgrade to face war crimes charges, threatening retraliation if he isn’t extradited.

eu-draft-report-for-serbia-and-kosovo-urge-both-to-work-harder-in-2017-01-09-2017 news 10 Jan 17 Serbia, Kosovo Urged to Work Harder on EU Goals

New EU reports on Kosovo and Serbia list judicial issues, media freedom, corruption, organized crime and political polarization as the chief obstacles slowing their path to EU membership.

haradinaj-sends-a-message-from-custody-01-06-2017 news 06 Jan 17 Kosovo Ex-PM Haradinaj Criticises France for Arrest

Former Kosovo premier Ramush Haradinaj said it was “sad” that France acted on a Serbian warrant to arrest him over war crimes charges, while top officials in Pristina demanded his release.

reactions-on-the-arrest-of-haradinaj-01-05-2017 news 05 Jan 17 Kosovo Condemns Ex-PM Haradinaj’s Arrest in France

Kosovo and Albania condemned the arrest of former Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj in France over Serbian war crimes allegations, as French officials started considering Belgrade’s extradition request for the ex-guerrilla commander.

kosovo-serb-minister-quits-under-serbian-pressure-12-30-2016 News 30 Dec 16 Kosovo Serb Minister Quits Under Serbian Pressure

Kosovo's newly-appointed ethnic Serbian Minister for Local Government, Mirjana Jevtic, resigned on Thursday after Belgrade demanded her removal because it had not endorsed her appointment.

belgrade-and-pristina-test-power-on-kosovo-serb-minister-12-28-2016 news 28 Dec 16 Mustafa Calls Serbia’s Role in Kosovo ‘Destructive’

After Kosovo Serbs decided to again withdraw from Kosovo state institutions on Belgrade’s demand, the Prime Minister criticized Serbia’s role as ‘destructive and unacceptable’.

383-kosovo-s-dial-code-12-15-2016 news 15 Dec 16 Kosovo Hails Receipt of Own Telephone Code

The International Telecommunication Union, ITU, has finally allocated Kosovo its own telephone code, 383, more than a year after Kosovo and Serbia initially reached a deal on telecommunications in Brussels.