President "working intensively" on Kosovo proposal
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has announced that he will "soon" send his "final proposal for a solution of the issue of Kosovo" to the government.Source: Beta, NIN
"I have been working on this proposal intensively, because we are already somewhere on the edge and each new concession by us could mean that we, somewhat tacitly, have agreed to many things," Nikolic said in an interview with the weekly NIN.
He added that, "if there is no unity of the state leadership" he "cannot do anything more for Kosovo - because neither foreign nor internal policy is in my jurisdiction."
"But since I won in a direct election, I am expected to always have a stance and I am ready to, as in the case of the previous platform on Kosovo, suggest the initial text - and for the government to tell me what is possible and what is not as far as it is concerned, to come to a common solution and seek support for it in international circles," the president said.
He added that this proposal will leave nobody "completely satisfied" and believes it will encounter resistance among those western countries that that have recognized Kosovo as independent.
He explained that the document will be sent to the government because the Constitution does not allow him to send it to parliament. "I want to share the fate with this government, because if the situation is bad, it will be of no use that the president is working well. Aleksandar Vucic and I have came to power together and together we will leave, if things are not good," Nikolic was quoted as saying.
The president added should the EU demand that Serbia recognizes Kosovo as independent in order to join the organization, "it will be a clear signal that Brussels does not want Serbia among its ranks," and added that "alignment with the foreign policy of the EU will be a difficult task for Belgrade."
"There is no church in which we could pray and obtain forgiveness if we imposed sanctions against Russia, because such a decision would be catastrophic for us. And feelers have already been put out to see how Serbia reacts, whether there are divisions among us. That's why I said, in order to prevent divisions among us, that Serbia could be defeated only by the one who divides it," Nikolic said.
The Serbian president spoke unfavorably of "the friction that exists among the authorities" and criticized Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic's statement that the Constitution needs to be changes, but also performances of individual ministers.
"Often, ministers, even some of their clerks, dare to comment on topics that are not in their job description, rather than wait for the prime minister and a cabinet session during which to find a common position," Nikolic said.
According to him, the Serbian Constitution was adopted with great efforts "and for that reason I do not dare say that I, as a man who won the presidential election, am capable of convincing citizens that the Constitution should be changed."
Nikolic said that after the withdrawal of Russia from the South Stream gas pipeline the moment was right to talk about new forms of Russian investments in Serbia.
"President Putin knows that there is now a kind of a shadow on our relationship and that everything could be easily regulated if Russia became one of the major investors in Serbia," Nikolic said.