Parallel institutions to be replaced by "new ones"

BELGRADE -- President Tomislav Nikolić a solution contained in the Serbian parliament resolution on Kosovo "dismantles the so-called parallel institutions".

(Tanjug, file)
(Tanjug, file)

They would be replaced by "Kosovo institutions run by the Serbs".

Speaking for Belgrade-based TV Prva late on Thursday, he added that Serbia's goal was to get a start date for the accession talks with the EU "while avoiding humiliation and protecting its sovereignty".

Nikolić was asked whether there was "a legalization of the parallel institutions in northern Kosovo", when responded that the process actually involved "the creation of new Kosovo institutions run by the Serbs":

"It is the creation of new Kosovo institutions, but also segments of institutions that would be run by the Serbs. And that is where the parallel institutions end. If they say that Serbia has regulated education, healthcare and, if they say we have a court in Kosovska Mitrovica and have a police force in northern Kosovska Mitrovica, suddenly this proposal of ours - which has to be resolved through the Kosovo Constitution, but, do not forget, through the Serbian Constitution as wel l- the Serbian institutions become Kosovo institutions and they are run by the Serbs."

Serbia has given up on regulating healthcare in the Serb community, but if the Serbs can get organized on their own and "we, according to the resolution have the right to help - if there is not enough revenue or people - it practically allows us to operate in that territory as though it were under Belgrade's full control, and it is not," he said.

Serbia's diplomatic activities are directed towards doing "everything a normal country should and must do to bring peace and prosperity to a part of its territory," he stated.

"The goal is to get the start date for the accession talks with the EU, but not having to humiliate ourselves to get it, or humiliate the people, or give up on our sovereignty," Nikolić remarked.

Commenting on Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci's statement that the Kosovo government would not impose leaders on northern Kosovo, Nikolić said he thought it was meant to make "Serbia forget there are Serbs south of the Ibar and potentially influence political leaders in the north to become selfish and start solving only their own problems."

It is the first time there is no talk of north being a territory that should be entered by force, security and the rule of law ensured and the Serbian parallel institutions driven out, he said.

"I suppose, but I have not received any evidence of it, that they want what the resolution brought to refer only to north of the Ibar, for us to forget there are many more Serbs living south of the Ibar," Nikolić pointed out.

He said it was not up to him as president to solve problems individually and partially and to divide, but to "try and solve the whole issue of Kosovo."