Tomislav Nikolic: If Kosovo is the condition, Serbia does not want EU!
BELGRADE – Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic has said that Serbia will abandon EU integration if Brussels officially makes it choose between the EU and Kosovo.
“If we are presented officially with the choice between Europe and Kosovo, we will abandon the European path. I said that in the (election) campaign and my people would not be surprised if I suggested it,” he told the Vecernje Novosti daily, adding that the first meeting regarding the Kosovo platform will be held on Friday.
According to Nikolic, Serbia has reached the level of organization where it can count on the EU.
“It keeps us at a distance now solely because of Kosovo. But it can keep us that way for another 100 years, we will not change our stand on our southern province. If they start adding new rules for us, which did not go for other countries, then they could push us away. In that case, it is better that they tell us: “We do not want you,” the president explained.
When asked if he had realized after the latest signals from Brussels that the policy of going for both Europe and Kosovo was no longer feasible, he responded that “once we officially run into a wall, then the policy of going for both Europe and Kosovo will not be possible.”
“For now, no one has formally asked us to recognize Kosovo’s independence. We are organizing the country to suit European standards, which helps implement reforms and organize Serbia according to democratic principles,” he stressed.
The relationship with the EU cannot be built on sending Serbia new requirements time after time, he stated.
“If we are stable and meet the requirements, Europe cannot be unstable and keep setting new requirements for us. We only ask that we get the same requirements as other countries, no more, no less,” Nikolic remarked.
The reference to Kosovo’s integrity in the EU strategy for enlargement is not harmless, but Serbia cannot give up the fight in advance, he emphasized.
“Resolution 1244 guarantees Serbia’s integrity, and now Europe wants us to guarantee Kosovo’s integrity. We have the situation now that territorial integrity is not guaranteed for a country that founded the UN, but that country is asked to guarantee the territorial integrity of a part of its territory that has seceded without legal basis. That is not according to international rules,” he added.