"For deal to work, Kosovo Serbs must accept it"

NOVI SAD -- Aleksandar Vulin says the demand for an association of Serb municipalities to have full control over police, judiciary and spatial planning won't be abandoned.

The Serbs in Kosovo must also be able to receive direct financing from Serbia, the head of the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija said late on Monday.

At a forum dubbed "Crime without Punishment" in Novi Sad, organized on the anniversary of the March pogrom of Serbs in Kosovo by the local committees of the Movement of Socialists, the Serb Progressive Party, New Serbia and Third Serbia, Vulin said that the Kosovo Serbs must be satisfied with the reached agreement, otherwise the agreement will not happen.

He said it is not true that the number of Serbs in Kosovo is insignificant and that nothing can be changed, because "as long as Serb children are being born in Strpce and Kosovska Mitrovica, we will survive and remain in Kosovo."

Vulin said that for decades, there have been claims that two to three million Albanians live in Kosovo, but a recent census conducted by the Albanians themselves showed that Kosovo has a population of around 1.7 million. Foreign organizations have expressed doubts about the results as "it turned out that some census takers worked 48 hours a day," said Vulin.

"The census did not include Serbs, 250,000 of whom have been exiled according to UNHCR data, and another 250,000 of whom remain in Kosovo, which says that we are not few and that we will remain in this area, which they say is not ours and yet ask us to renounce," said Vulin, adding it was impossible for anyone in Serbia to sign anything saying that Kosovo is not Serbian.