Russian FM reminds UN of its role in Kosovo

Serbia's outgoing FM and incoming UN General Assembly President Vuk Jeremić met with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Thursday.

Source: Tanjug

The two agreed that international issues and crises, including the Kosovo issue, could only be resolved based on international law, and that violence was not acceptable.

At a joint news conference, Jeremić stressed that Serbia and Russia had very similar views on almost all issues, including Kosovo, and that the similarity was confirmed at the meeting.

Serbia has opposed strongly the attempted secession and change of its borders and has always had Russia's support in that, Jeremić noted.

Stressing that the greatest security challenge in the Western Balkans would be to fail to settle the Kosovo issue, Jeremić stated that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 was the only base for a solution.

Lavrov agreed, adding that the UN also had a part to play in the process.

"The UN Charter and Resolution 1244 pose as a unique international and legal base to solve the issue, Lavrov remarked. There is no other way but dialogue between Belgrade and Priština," he pointed out, adding that the UN had a mandate in Kosovo and had to fulfill it, and that no one had taken the responsibility off the UN's shoulders regarding Kosovo.

Serbia's territorial sovereignty over Kosovo was guaranteed by Resolution 1244, Jeremić underlined, adding that until the UN Security Council comes up with a different solution, he saw no room for changes.

Jeremić believes Serbia's next government will continue its activities in preventing new recognitions of Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence.

"No Serbian government will accept changes to the countries borders made by force, neither the present nor the next one," Jeremić said, adding that a solution to the issue could only be reached through an agreement between the two sides that would be confirmed by the UN.

Jeremić was elected president of the UN General Assembly in June, and he stated in Moscow he would strive to live up to the trust placed in Serbia by running the UN's top body in a balanced way.

Lavrov said Jeremić was an excellent choice for the position, and that his election was a recognition of Serbia and Jeremić personally.

Jeremić faces tough tasks, because the General Assembly needs to find collective answers to global challenges, and it is up to the president whether there will be a possibility of the member countries reaching a balanced solution, Lavrov noted.

Serbia is going to propose the peaceful resolution of conflicts through negotiations as one of the topics of the 67th session of the General Assembly, said Jeremić, adding that his whole term would be in that spirit.

Serbia has been chosen for an important role, and it received that trust from a majority of member stated and is grateful for it, Jeremić emphasized. Only through a fair and balanced presidency can Serbia live up to that trust, he asserted.

Jeremić stated that Thursday was his last day as Serbia's foreign minister and that it was fate that had decided to lead him to Moscow.

He pointed out he had met Lavrov officially 20 times and thanked for the support, adding that he had learned a lot professionally from Russia's foreign minister.

When asked what his advice would be to his successor as Serbia's foreign minister, Jeremić responded that the new minister was a professional whom he had complete faith in and that he needed no advice.

Jeremić said the only advice to his successor in terms of the relations between Serbia and Russia was that he should "brush up on history".


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