"SAA not in Serbia's state interests"

BELGRADE -- PM Vojislav Koštunica says signing the SAA with the EU isn't in Serbia’s state or national interests, as it will be interpreted as approving Kosovo’s independence.

Vojislav Koštunica (Tanjug, archive)
Vojislav Koštunica (Tanjug, archive)

“European Commissioner Olli Rehn supports Kosovo’s unilateral independence, and supports signing the agreement with Serbia,” said Koštunica, in reaction to Rehn’s statement today that the EU intended to sign the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with Serbia before the May 11 elections.

“That agreement is clearly in the interests of Olli Rehn and [EU High Representative] Javier Solana, while it is clearly not in Serbia’s state and national interests to sign the agreement, which, the next day, will be interpreted as Serbia’s acknowledgement of Kosovo’s independence,” the prime minister said in a statement submitted to Tanjug.

“In that respect, that signature does not bind Serbia in any way, and I declare in advance that the NATO pact cannot claim that Serbia recognized Kosovo’s independence with that signature. The only thing the NATO pact will be able to claim is that individual parties signed Solana’s agreement,” he warned.

At a meeting with Slovakian Foreign Minister Jan Kubiš, Koštunica said that EU states that had recognized Kosovo’s independence had directly contravened the initialed SAA, and underlined that Serbia would not be able to simultaneously sign the resumption of Serbia’s European integration and Kosovo’s independence.