FM: US more involved on Kosovo, EU playing double game

Some EU countries are playing a double game and don't want to reach an agreement on Kosovo in which they are not the leading factor, says Ivica Dacic.

Source: Tanjug
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Dacic (R) is seen with Yury Borisov, Russian deputy PM, in Belgrade on Thursday (Tanjug/Serbian MFA)
Dacic (R) is seen with Yury Borisov, Russian deputy PM, in Belgrade on Thursday (Tanjug/Serbian MFA)

At the same time, the foreign minister and first deputy PM welcomed the increased involvement of the United States in resolving the Kosovo issue.

Dacic, when asked what he expects from US Under Secretary David Hale to Belgrade and whether Washington is assuming primacy in negotiations, said that US involvement cannot replace the negotiation process, but that it can help with unblocking it- if Pristina revokes its taxes (on goods from central Serbia.)

"Many delegations from the United States have already been here, they all go to Pristina and come back to us. As far as we are concerned, they do not have to come to Belgrade, let them resolve thing with Pristina so that the taxes are abolished and we can move on," Dacic said in the Palace of Serbia on Thursday, after a meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for Cooperation between Serbia and Russia.

He noted that the US approach towards Serbia has changed and that Serbia is no longer seen as the "bad guy" - and that the United States "cannot understand how it is possible that Pristina will not listen to them and abolish the taxes."

"It's incredible to me as well, and a little suspicious - but I don't think that the US is are playing a double game. However, some European countries do not want a deal to be negotiated quickly and on the principles that have been discussed so far, and in which they don't have the leading role," said the Serbian minister.

He added that the fact that "no one can make Pristina change the decision on the taxes should lead those who supported them in the past to ask themselves what they have created."

The minister noted that "international officials, in order to 'rap on the knuckles" all those who admit that Pristina is to blame, but resent Belgrade for not allowing Kosovo's admission to Interpol and for lobbying for withdrawal of Kosovo recognitions, argue that Serbia thus impedes the dialogue."

"Anyone who comes with such a topic will hear this answer: until the situation in the number of countries that recognized Kosovo as independent before Brussels (apparently Brussels negotiations - ed.), Serbia will not stop," Dacic said.

"We did not agree in Brussels that Kosovo should become a member of international organizations, but if it is part of the conversation, then that's another matter," Dacic underlined.

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