Minister: We will not leave northern Kosovo

BELGRADE -- Serbia’s Minister for Kosovo Goran Bogdanović has said that Serbia will not abolish its institutions in northern Kosovo.

Goran Bogdanović (Beta, file)
Goran Bogdanović (Beta, file)

He told daily Večernje novosti that a request to withdraw from the institutions in northern Kosovo was unacceptable for the Serbian government.

“Requests for Serbia to withdraw from the institutions in the north of the province, that are not parallel but the only ones, are unacceptable for the government,” the minister pointed out, adding that the government was obligated to provide health care, education and social protection to the citizens.

Bogdanović stated that Serbs had stayed in those places in Kosovo where they still had Serbian institutions.

When asked whether the request to renounce UN Security Council Resolution 1244 was in fact a request to recognize Kosovo, the minister for Kosovo said that he “personally is prone to interpret it that way”.

“Giving up on the Resolution without reaching a compromise represents a precedent that unilateral moves are a legitimate way of changing the international law and order,” he pointed out.

The minister also noted that Kosovo Serbs needed to listen to the government and remove the barricades because they, as he said, had fulfilled their purpose and achieved their goal.

Commenting on accusations that he and Belgrade team chief Borislav Stefanović were boycotting parliament’s Committee on Kosovo, Bogdanović said:

“How can we discuss something that the government, that I am a member of, has not discussed and has not made a stand or made a decision? As soon as the government adopts the report I will go the Committee session to explain the government’s position and decision and to answer all questions”.