The President of the Democratic Party of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica, has stood up for the initiation of a discussion on whether it is in the interest of Serbia to become an EU member, since, according to his assessment, it is clear that the condition for candidacy is the establishing of good neighborly relations with Kosovo as an independent state.
In an interview for Beta Agency, Kostunica said that 22 countries had recognized Kosovo’s independence which is the first dispute of Serbia with the Union but that we should take into consideration the problems that the EU is facing which are the “economic crisis and stop of EU enlargement”.
“There is a slow diversification into first-rate and second-rate states and, I’m afraid, when it comes to the Western Balkans, into third-rate states too …we are supposed to make a balance of what the push towards candidacy has cost us and the unilateral implementation of economic agreements, so we can conclude based on it, what the interest of Serbia is, Kostunica says.
The President of the DSS assessed that the government in Serbia has thus far rushed towards the EU, claiming that membership in the EU has no alternative and that matters like Kosovo and entering this alliance are two separate processes.
“These are not two processes, they are two connected items. Membership in the EU entails practically a recognition of Kosovo, normalization of Kosovo and Serbian relations and good neighborly relations” he said and added that after “so much lost time and the large price we paid” it should be seen what the state interests are.
Kostunica rated that Serbia should cooperate with the EU, primarily economically like many other countries of Europe and the world are doing, like Norway and Switzerland.
He indicated that the question of whether the EU has no alternative should be posed and whether Serbia can develop normally and live or work normally if it only cooperates with the EU.
“My answer is – yes, it’s possible”, Kostunica said.
Speaking about northern Kosovo, Kostunica says that the government in Belgrade would have to provide much more support to the people on the barricades, because the people are existentially jeopardized and because it is quietly showing that they wish to remain a part of Serbia.
“It would be great if the authorities in Belgrade were displaying such a level of responsibility and care about whether Kosovo and Metohia should remain as part of Serbia, which our citizens in the southern province are displaying…the government should help them instead of admitting through back doors the institutions of an illegal state of Kosovo, he says.
The DSS leader criticized certain parties and a part of the public that through stories on some kind of exodus of the Serbs they aim to intimidate the Serbs in Kosovo and that this is done in order to establish by December 9 “something that would have grave elements of a state border between Kosovo and Serbia”.
According to his words, Serbia should insist on new negotiations with Pristina, which would be under the auspices of the UN Security Council, because this is how the entire problem will return to the framework of Resolution 1244, which respects the territorial integrity of Serbia.
Speaking about the options of Serbia in resolving the Kosovo problem, Kostunica said that the government should continue to insist that Kosovo is a part of Serbia and that most countries in the world did not admit a unilaterally proclaimed independence being an obligation by Serbian Constitution and international rule.
The question of Kosovo is also a question of integrity and sovereignty of Serbia and above all – our identity. Serbia without Kosovo is not the same as with Kosovo. The question is how much is Serbia without Kosovo, Serbia at all”, said Kostunica in an interview for Beta agency.