Team leader: We're not recognizing Kosovo

BELGRADE -- A deal Belgrade intends to sign with the Kosovo Albanian authorities does not mean it will de facto recognize their unilateral independence declaration.

Borislav Stefanović (file)
Borislav Stefanović (file)

This is according to statements of Belgrade team leader Borislav Stefanović.

To address the daily life issues to the benefit of the residents of Kosovo-Metohija, especially Serbs, in no way means recognition of independence, he told Tanjug on Tuesday.

He was also quoted as "categorically refuting related speculation in some media".

“We have seen speculation that occurred in a small number of media in a limited form, and we are absolutely refuting those claims. Serbia will never recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo. Also, no solution that is coming up in Brussels soon will be in favor of the confirmation of the so-called independence,” he said.

Expressing optimism ahead of leaving for Brussels for the new round of talks, Stefanović said it was realistic to expect that at least three of the issues opened so far would be concluded in Brussels in early July.

“The issues involve cadastre, freedom of movement and vital records. It is also very likely that we will resolve the issues related to Telekom and electricity,” Stefanović said.

“Interpretations that are contrary to ours will always be appearing in Priština. This means Priština will represent all of these interpretations in a way that suits their public and their internal political scene,” said Stefanović.

Respecting the agreement Belgrade has with Priština and the EU in terms of the way of running the negotiating process, Stefanović refused to present the details of the agreement, but added that he believed that Priština was very wrong to go public and present some of the elements of the future solutions, while explaining them in an extremely one-sided way.

He said that Serbia would not allow the use of vehicle registration plates bearing symbols representing the non-existant republic of Kosovo outside of Kosovo.

“I can add with great certainty that our citizens in Kosovo and Metohija, including (ethnic) Albanians, will not be able to use their so-called travel documents or passports of Kosovo in Serbia," said he.