- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Serbia's Prime Minister has added to the air of confusion over government policy towards Kosovo with media issuing his contradictory-sounding statement.
Prime Minister Ivica Dacic faces charges of inconsistency over Kosovo, after media on Thursday issued a contradictory-sounding reports of his statement on the former province.
"Tales were told; lies were told that Kosovo is ours," Serbian media outlets quoted him as saying on Thursday afternoon.
Later that day, however, the same media reported Dacic as having actually said that Serbia "will not give up [its claim to] Kosovo even at the cost of getting an EU [accession talks] start date".
The Prime Minister's confusing-sounding remarks - or perhaps the media's selective reporting on those remarks - hint at the continued anguish many Serbs feel over whether Belgrade's claim to Kosovo should be surrendered, or at last watered down, in order to expedite EU accession talks.
Although Kosovo declared independence in 2008, Serbia continues to bitterly contest this. So far, Kosovo has been recognised by 97 out of 198 UN member states, including the US and 22 of the 27 EU member states.
At the same time, Serbia obtained EU candidate status in March 2012 and is hoping to obtain a start date for accession talks in June.
Normalisation of relations with Kosovo is the EU's main precondition for Serbia as it continues to pursue EU membership.
A new survey suggests that about 63 per cent of Serbian citizens accept that Kosovo is in practice an independent state - and that Serbia can only fight now to secure the best position for the Serbs still in Kosovo.
About one third of citizens, 32 per cent, say Kosovo is not independent while 5 per cent do not have an answer.
The survey of 1,003 people was conducted by B92 TV and by the agency Ipsos Strategic Marketing.
Kosovo said it will sue companies that establish contracts with the Trepca industrial complex after the US firm New Generation Power did so without due consultation.
Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo have agreed on a harmonized plan to implement the recent Brussels-led agreement, the EU foreign policy chief announced.
Ahead of Tuesday’s meeting between Kosovo and Serbia, German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle urged both sides to take real steps to implement their EU-brokered agreement.
Officials have launched a week-long series of events aimed at raising awareness about tolerance, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between different religious faiths in Kosovo.
As Pristina and Belgrade seek agreement on implementing their EU-brokered deal, Albanian leaders in Serbia’s Presevo Valley are urging the Kosovo authorities to help them win more rights.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.
Despite two failed meetings about the implementation of the EU-brokered deal between Kosovo and Serbia, officials hope that prime ministerial talks next week will see progress.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has invited the Serbian and Kosovo prime ministers to a meeting next week to discuss how to implement their Brussels-brokered deal.
NATO’s Kosovo force warned that only authorised policing groups are allowed to carry weapons in northern Kosovo, not Serb-organised ‘civil defence’ units.
Former high-ranking Serbian interior ministry official Vlastimir Djordjevic admitted war crimes were committed against Kosovo Albanians during the 1999 conflict and apologised to civilian victims.
Kosovo's authority will be introduced to Serb-run northern Kosovo in three stages, BIRN can reveal, as Kosovo Serb leaders warn the EU-backed plan may prompt them to emigrate.