U.S. ambassador: No trade in Kosovo territory

BELGRADE -- It should be clear to everyone that there will be no trade of the Kosovo territory, U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Michael Kirby told daily Večernje novosti.

Michael Kirby (Beta, file)
Michael Kirby (Beta, file)

“This should be taken off the table. I am happy with the talks led by the two prime ministers. I believe that staying on this course will lead us to a good place,” he said when asked how the issue of northern Kosovo should be solved.

“Over the years, borders in Europe have been changing a lot. We think it would be the best to stop. If you do this with Kosovo now, there is a question why not somewhere else, what about Bosnia-Herzegovina, border with Hungary, Bulgaria. Where will it end? It’s a box we would rather not open,” Kirby was quoted as saying.

When asked to comment on a draft platform for Kosovo presented by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić, the ambassador said that he had no official comment because this was not an official document yet.

He stressed that the U.S. had good and open cooperation with the current Serbian government.

When asked whether Serbia should abandon its EU pathway and turn to Russia and China, the U.S. ambassador said:

“You are already in Europe. You cannot take Serbia and relocate it to some other part of the world. What other model, aside from the EU, you have at your disposal? Switzerland? You do not have banks. Norway? You do not have oil and natural gas. Russia? You are not a nation of 150 million people, you have no natural resources. Staying on the sidelines will not help,” Kirby concluded.