Minister: Serbia without Kosovo cannot exist
Serbia was created in Kosovo and Serbia without Kosovo cannot exist, says Minister of Innovation Nenad Popovic.Source: Tanjug
"I think that with a calm attitude, but with strong arguments, we can always get what we want. The most important thing is to define the start and the starting position, the most important one. I think that has been determined and is unchangeable. It is respect for our Constitution and for international law, primarily UN Security Council Resolution 1244," Popovic told Sputnik in an interview.
According to him, the EU did not have the capacity to persuade the Kosovo Albanians to make any concessions.
"I am sure that a model will be found and that it is the broadest autonomy (for Kosovo) that there is anywhere in the world, but within the framework of 1244 and the Constitution of Serbia. The Brussels agreements are dead. The EU did not have the capacity to persuade the Albanians to make any concessions. The Serbian side was truly cooperative... the Albanians have not made a single step. The EU has done nothing," Popovic said.
He pointed out that UNSC Resolution 1244 has not been made obsolete, and was instead "solid as a rock."
"Now we need to find a new format of negotiations. Serbia is ready for a compromise. There can be no solution without the participation of America, Russia, China and the European Union, together," Popovic said.
He said he believed in the negotiation process - "which will be long" - and remarked that "the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step."
"I think that the president (Vucic) is fully prepared for a compromise, the whole government, the Assembly, I'm sure. We really want to give them the broadest possible autonomy within the framework of Resolution 1244 and the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, and within Serbia," he said of Kosovo.
Speaking about his government portfolio, the minister said that, using the latest innovations and digitization, Serbia is on the path to overcome "all the problems it has had in the past several decades due to sanctions and wars - and it is certainly at the European level in the scientific and academic sense."
Popovic emphasized the government's commitment to innovation in economic development.
"In the last 10-15 years, our engineers have been unrivaled, and that's the biggest resource we have. I think we have become a place that everyone in Europe recognizes as an innovative destination and probably the only place they want to come and open their innovative companies, or their scientific and development centers," Popovic said.
He cited the example of Germany's Siemens, which bought a factory in Kragujevac that will employ 300 engineers, and pointed out that this company came to Serbia above all because of their quality.
Speaking about the construction of two big tech parks - in Novi Sad, worth more than 20 million euros, in Nis, at the Faculty of Electronic Engineering - Popovic said that these would be the most modern tech parks in this part of Europe, enabling students and university professors to work together in one place, along with small and medium-sized companies with an already proven track record, and tech leaders such as Facebook and Google.