"Recognition fairytale, UN membership mirage" - FM on Kosovo

It would be good if a lasting solution were to be found with Pristina, says Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic.

Source: Beta
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(EPA, file, illustration purposes)
(EPA, file, illustration purposes)

In an interview with the public broadcaster in the province of Vojvodina, RTV, cited by the Beta agency, Dacic said the possibility of Serbia accepting Kosovo's UN membership was a mirage.

"It would be good if a lasting solution were to be found. But when they talk about a solution for Kosovo in the West, they mostly think of us accepting the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo, and that's a fairytale. For Serbia to recognize Kosovo, for Kosovo to get a chair in the UN, for us to suggest to Russia to vote in favor of it - that's not a fairytale, that's a mirage. That won't happen," the minister said.

Although the decision is made by the Security Council, Dacic continued, Kosovo's UN membership really depends on Serbia's position - because Russia and China will respect Serbia's position.

Asked whether his stance differs from that of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic - who said that Kosovo's membership in the UN could be considered if Serbia gets something in return - Dacic said that "all these variants can be discussed if there is a permanent solution, if there is a deal between Belgrade and Pristina."

"We want this issue to be solved as soon as possible. But if the other side thinks that it has been solved, that we only need to recognize Kosovo's independence and in this way supposedly ingratiate ourselves to the West in order join the EU, I do not see it as a path that Serbia can accept. And that's why I said that these are fairytales," Dacic said.

Speaking about the draft EU strategy for the Western Balkans - which states that the EU will ask Serbia to reach a comprehensive agreement on normalization of relations with Kosovo by the beginning of 2019 if it wants to join by 2025 - Dacic said that if this is also contained in the final version of the strategy, Serbia's response will be as before - to accept only what is in its interest.

Dacic urged EU ambassadors to put on paper "what they think" - but added that "it can never be adopted by the EU Council."

"That's their bilateral view, the EU does not have a united position on Kosovo, because there are countries that have not recognized it. And even if they had a united position, we're are not interested in that," he said.

The head of Serbia's diplomacy added that the continuation of the dialogue with Pristina in Brussels can only occur after there has been "some information" about the murder of Oliver Ivanovic or when light has been shed on the case.

He recalled that the technical negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina had been suspended "for a year or two" and that they were to resume on the day Ivanovic was killed, but that in such conditions the talks could not take place. Dacic added that he hoped that the technical negotiators would not have to wait too long to continue their dialogue.

Dacic said that Belgrade currently does not have police in Kosovo and cannot investigate Ivanovic's murder.

Asked whether the Russians were "friends or partners" to Serbia - apparently a reference to his earlier comment about Western countries being partners, but not friends - Dacic replied:

"I would not like us to treat this issue emotionally or irrationally, but in accordance with our interests. If Russia vetoes the UN Security Council resolution on Srebrenica and supports us in international forums regarding Kosovo, and if we cannot count on Western countries when it comes to that, I must make a distinction, " Dacic said.

Speaking about the name dispute between Athens and Skopje over the latter's use of the word "Macedonia," Dacic recalled that "Skopje recognized Kosovo and voted in favor of its membership in UNESCO - while Greece is a friendly country that did not recognize Kosovo. "

"If someone gives priority to Pristina over Belgrade, that represents a political message," Dacic said.

Politics

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