"EU has double standards," says official

The European Union has double standards and does not want some things from the Brussels agreement to be implemented, Krstimir Pantić has said.

Source: B92

"It is important to us that the Brussels agreement is implemented, but if new conditions are being put before the state of Serbia, if unrealistic demands are being put before Belgrade alone, while there's full understanding for Priština, even when they are not carrying out what they undertook to do - then we should not go to Brussels," he said.

The former mayor of Kosovska Mitrovica, now deputy director of the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija, added that should the negotiations be disrupted, "nothing dramatic will happen in Kosovo."

"It is not the fault of the state of Serbia, but of the (ethnic) Albanians who do not wish to implement the Brussels agreement. If something that had been agreed on is implemented, but not in the same way it had been agreed, it will not be sustainable. There is enormous pressure for the elections to be boycotted. In whose interest is it for a small number of Serbs to turn out? Serbia will be neither guilty nor accused if that agreement is not implemented, we did everything we could, but there is no will on the other side," he told B92 on Monday, and added:

"We made some painful concession during the negotiating process and there is no more space to make concessions. The Serbs would not be the winners, but even bigger losers would be the Albanians. Nothing would be achieved. But should we be making concessions constantly for the process to be successful?"

If the Brussels agreement falls through, the Albanians will bear the responsibility, according to him.

"We stand behind what was signed in Brussels, and when the Albanians do not like something they refer to their Constitutional Court…well we have the Constitutional Court as well. It could say that unless all citizens are secured the right to vote, those elections cannot be fair and democratic. Everyone has the right to choose and be elected," he continued.

As for Serbs in Kosovo, Pantić said they had "no spare government, and no other ally except the Republic of Serbia."

He then stated that "the list Serbia" posed "the greatest danger for Priština because it was trusted the most by the citizens since the state of Serbia stood behind it."

All other lists, Pantić went on, especially those close to the authorities in Priština, "have demonstrated how much they care about Serbs."

Pantić said he expects the (Civil Initiative) Srpska list to have a member in the Election Commission of Kosovo.

Speaking about Oliver Ivanović and Goran Bogdanovoić, Pantić said he did not consider them to be enemies, but political opponents.

"Ivanović already made a deal with Adrijana Hodžić to form the government in Kosovska Mitrovica. He didn't speak with me, or with the Srpska candidates. That's what's been said around the town and I have no reason to doubt that's the truth. I didn't ask Ivanović, but Mrs. Ksenija Božović admitted as much to the candidates from our list," Pantić was quoted as saying, and adding:

"All those who did not follow the policy of the government have worked contrary to Serbia's interests."

He added that the advice coming from the Serbian Orthodox Church would be "listened to carefully," but that the government of Serbia "would always be listened to - because only the government and the state can help the citizens of the Republic of Serbia."

Finally, Pantić concluded by saying that "we will follow the decisions of the government no matter what they are."


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