"Independence date: February 17"

BELGRADE -- The government has information suggesting that Hashim Thaci will declare Kosovo independence on February 17.

Slobodan Samardžić (FoNet, archive)
Slobodan Samardžić (FoNet, archive)

In talks with EU High Representative Javier Solana’s adviser Stefan Lene, Kosovo Minister Slobodan Samardžić said that the EU could not expect Serbia to sign off Kosovo’s independence, right before a unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence, said the Kosovo Ministry.

At this moment in time, by signing any sort of agreement with the EU, Serbia would be giving its consent and justification to creating a fake state on its territory, Samardžić reiterated, adding that Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica “will not sign such an act.”

The EU is attempting to get Serbia to sign any sort of agreement before February 17, since, by doing so, Serbia’s signature would be a signature for Kosovo independence, said the minister, adding that such a signature would justify the loss of 15 percent of its territory, and a violent breach of the UN Charter and Resolution 1244.

Yesterday, Samardžić, from Koštunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) had said that the cabinet would fall if the Democrats continued to insist on the EU deal.

The minister's comments came yesterday afternoon during a news conference in Belgrade, Beta reported.

He said that his party's ministers and MPs will do everything they can to end the crisis, "but not at the price of the sovereignty and integrity of the country."

He blasted the EU for undermining political stability in Serbia by deciding to dispatch a mission to Kosovo and at the same time present a political deal "without any substance."

"The deal is nothing. Double zero," Samardžić said.

Samardžić went on to say that the deal was proposed to mitigate the impact of the Kosovo mission and so that Serbia would consent to the mission and a sequence of events leading to the independence of the province.

"It's unfortunate that the EU has infiltrated the Serbian political system in this way just a day after the election of a new president," he remarked.

He also observed that the political deal does not have the hallmarks of an international treaty and offers nothing more than the Stabilization and Association Agreement.

Commenting on whether Deputy Prime Minister Božidar Đelić has the authority to sign it, Samardžić cited Parliament's latest declaration on Kosovo, which authorizes only treaties conducive to the sovereignty and unity of the state.