Foreign minister admits there's pressure because of Kosovo
Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Tuesday that there is pressure on Serbia to reach an agreement with Pristina this or next year.Source: B92, Beta
However, he said, Belgrade will not barter in terms of Kosovo and Metohija "for the sake of EU membership deadlines."
Dacic told RTS that countries that recognized the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo are wrong when they claim that the process is irreversible.
"How can it be irreversible if there are countries withdrawing their decision to recognize? Many countries today are considering a decision to recognize Kosovo, many of which have similar problems, such as Papua New Guinea, which has a referendum on the secession of a part of its territory. When problems like that knock on their door, they must consider well recognizing Kosovo," the minister said.
According to him, those western countries that were among the first to recognize Kosovo were defending their policy from the 1990s with that decision.
"They will hardly change the stance on Kosovo, it is a logical end to such a policy, from the breakup of Yugoslavia through the bombing (of Serbia) to the unilateral declaration of independence. This is their self-defense, but they are terribly annoyed by us urging individual countries to withdraw recognition. They think it's impossible that the number of countries that recognize Kosovo could fall below 100, just let them think so," Dacic said.
According to him, it is important for Serbia to maintain the number of countries that have not recognized Kosovo.
"This requires good bilateral relations with these countries, frequent visits, common interests. There are many countries that we rarely go to, to which we should pay more attention, like Azerbaijan," Dacic said, adding that regardless of the size of individual states, it is their votes in international organizations that are measured.
Commenting on the statement by Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin about changing Serbia's foreign policy priorities, Dacic said that EU membership remains one of the priorities - "but not at any cost."
Last week, media reports said that Western countries had sent a plan for Kosovo to Serbia, i.e., that several proposals had been submitted to Serbia regarding the resolution of the Kosovo status issue. Although he denied receiving any written proposal, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said such proposals existed, albeit verbal, but that they all were unacceptable to Serbia.