Slovakia: "Hard to imagine" recognizing Kosovo

BRUSSELS, BELGRADE -- Slovakian PM Robert Fico doubts his country would recognize a unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence.

Fico, Barroso in news conference (Beta)
Fico, Barroso in news conference (Beta)

“It’s hard for us to imagine recognizing a unilateral declaration of independence,” said Fico after meeting European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

The Slovakian prime minister called for EU unity on the matter and warned that it would be a “deadly mistake” if member-states failed to reach a consensus.

“That would be a sign of weakness. I have a feeling that certain superpowers are already counting on it,” he added, without going into any further details.

Barroso said that it would he “difficult to justify” if EU states were not in a position to adopt a common European stance on Kosovo.

The Associated Press (AP) reiterates that EU member-states are divided, with Hungary, Greece, Spain, Slovakia, Cyprus and Romania maintaining that independence for the province could spark separatist tensions throughout the continent.

Meanwhile, the U.S., according to the AP, has on more than one occasion suggested that independence would be the optimal solution, and that it could recognize a potential declaration on the part of the Priština authorities.

In Belgrade on Monday, Minister for Kosovo Slobodan Samardžić met with Slovakian Foreign Minister Jan Kubiš, who said his country "would not recognize independent Kosovo."

Kubiš told to Samardžic that Slovakia, as a European Union member state, opposed a unilateral proclamation of Kosovo's independence and that it would "not acknowledge any such possible act", the Ministry for Kosovo and Metohija said in a statement.

The Slovakian chief of diplomacy said that Bratislava backed sending a European Union mission to Kosovo, since, according to him, in doing that the EU would assume responsibility for the security and stability in the region.

Kubiš agreed that the process of the resolution of Kosovo's future status had to continue under the UN auspices, respecting international law, "particularly UN Resolution 1244 which should remain in force until a new resolution is adopted at the UN Security Council," the statement said.