Koštunica: EU membership not on agenda

Vojislav Koštunica says that the EU deal involves clarifying the matter of borders and Serbia’s territorial integrity.

Source: B92
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Speaking to Pink TV’s VIN program, the prime minister and Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) leader said last night that he felt it expedient to send the Russian energy deal to parliament for ratification in order to speed up the whole process of pipeline construction, and said that it was entirely within the technical government’s powers to sanction such a move.

As far as the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) was concerned, Koštunica said the question of frontiers and Serbia’s territorial integrity had not even been touched on during negotiations with the EU.

“We’ve never discussed that matter with the EU. If we don’t discuss it, then every further step towards the SAA will imply our indirect recognition of Kosovo independence,“ he said.

Serbia cannot join the EU before 2012, 2013, maybe even a year or two later, said Koštunica, adding that EU membership was not currently on the agenda, rather the previous matter needed to be discussed—how the EU viewed Serbia.

In the prime minister’s opinion, Kosovo’s status would have to be discussed again at some point, as the situation in the province was frozen and needed to be settled.

Asked whether the issue of Kosovo awaited Serbia before the very doors of the EU, he said that “everyone would give priority to something that was territorial integrity over membership of an organization, part of whose members question Serbia’s territorial integrity.“

Koštunica said that Serbia’s measures had slowed down recognition of Kosovo’s unilateral independence, and that filing a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice would be the best response to countries recognizing independence.

Asked about a possible coalition with the Serb Radical Party (SRS) after the coming parliamentary elections, the DSS leader said he would not speak of coalitions until after the elections.

He said that he was profoundly certain of the justness of his policies where the question of Kosovo’s place in Serbia figured highly, together with negotiations with the EU, tackling corruption, and economic growth.

Asked about UNMIK’s reaction to the government’s decision to hold parliamentary and local elections in Kosovo, Koštunica said that UNMIK would not make any problems, and that elections would go ahead in Kosovo unhindered.

In reference to the acquittal by the Hague Tribunal of former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) leader Ramush Haradinaj on charges of war crimes in Dečani in 1998, and Serbian cooperation with the Tribunal, the prime minister said that Serbia had been conducting itself very responsibly as far as its international commitments were confirmed.

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