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

new-momentum-is-needed-in-kosovo-serbia-dialogue News 22 Oct 14 Kosovo-Serbia Talks Need Reviving, Report Says

New momentum is needed in the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue after the timeout caused by elections in both countries, a report by Kosovo and Slovak think tanks suggests.

serbia-misspends-millions-aimed-to-help-kosovo News 23 Sep 14 Millions Earmarked For Kosovo Serbs 'Wasted'

Hundreds of millions of euros from the Serbian budget that is supposed to help the Serbs in Kosovo have been misspent, a new TV investigation claims.

 

kosovo-nationalist-party-might-run-belgrade-pristina-dialogue-1 News 10 Sep 14 Kosovo Opposition Hand Serbia Talks to Nationalists

Four political parties aspiring to form the new government in Kosovo have handed management of the crucial EU-led talks with Serbia to the nationalistic Levizja Vetevendosja party - well known for its opposition to the dialogue.

kosovo-negotiators-hobbled-by-strife-at-home News 04 Sep 14 Kosovo Negotiators Hobbled by Strife at Home

Kosovo’s representatives in talks with Serbia do not have the mandate to reach agreements because Pristina still has no government three months after national elections, analysts say.

arrest-warrants-issued-for-kosovo-serb-politicians news 01 Sep 14 Arrest Warrants Issued for Kosovo Serb Politicians

The EU rule-of-law mission wants to arrest a Serb mayor and former mayor – a move that could further heighten tensions in the north of Kosovo.

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.

un-to-discus-belgrade-pristina-relations News 29 Aug 14 War Crimes Court in Focus at UN Kosovo Debate

At Friday's UN session on Kosovo, the formation of a special court to try war crimes committed by Kosovo Albanian fighters in the 1990s will be on the agenda.

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.

serbia-increases-police-forces-on-kosovo-border News 28 Aug 14 Serbia Reinforces Border After Policeman's Killing

Serbian Interior Minister says he is sending fresh police officers to the Kosovo border following the death of an officer who was shot near the border, allegedly by illegal loggers.

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.