President Vucic has dashed hopes of Belgrade signing the EU plan for Serbia-Kosovo relations because it includes allowing Kosovo to join the UN.
Despite claims on Monday that Kosovo and Serbia had agreed to a European Union plan on the normalisation of relations, Serbia’s President on Tuesday evening warned he will not sign the deal, because of points referring to mutual recognition and Kosovo joining the UN.
“We are ready to negotiate the implementation plan but I will not sign this,” Aleksandar Vucic said on TV.
“That’s what I said to [French President] Macron and [German Chancellor] Scholz in Munich, and to all the big leaders … we cannot talk about mutual recognition and the entry of Kosovo into the UN,” said Vucic.
Asked about the chances of the European proposal being changed, he replied: “None”.
Vucic said practical implementation of the guideline planned to be the annex of the agreement – agreeing on what will be implemented – was acceptable, but Serbia “will not implement [Kosovo’s] admission to the UN”.
Vucic agreed that normalization of relations with Kosovo was needed and said he is willing to work on that. He also conceded that 99.99 per cent of Kosovo Albanians back an independent Kosovo, and that this will not change. “Let’s make rational compromises that concern real life,” the President said.
“But on the key issues concerning the Constitution of Serbia, I have said it unequivocally, publicly and clearly everywhere. Why do you think I didn’t sign anything, which they said I was going to sign?” Vucic asked, referring to Serbia’s right-wing opposition parties who have accused him of treason.
He said that the next meetings with EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak will be about the implementation plan, adding that the pressures on Serbia will likely continue, because, by 24 March, when the European Council meets next, they will need to have some result.
Vucic insisted that the planned Association of Serb-Majority Municipalities in Kosovo, a body representing the Kosovo Serb community, was agreed to in Brussels back in 2013, but has never been implemented. For him, this was the number one point in the implementation plan.
He expressed doubt that Kosovo PM Albin Kurti will implement it, however.
After Monday’s meeting, the EU published the agreement on its website. It is expected that the EU’s envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Lajcak, will visit the two countries in the coming weeks, while the next Kurti- Vucic meeting is due on March 18 in Skopje, North Macedonia.
01 March 2023 - 13:17
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