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Serbia will not trade Kosovo for EU

Serbia will not recognize Kosovo’s independence in exchange for EU membership, the Serbian Ambassador to Russia says.

“I can assure you that there will be no bargaining [on Kosovo] and Serbia’s accession to the EU will not be paid for by Kosovo independence," Stanimir Vukićević told RIA Novosti. The diplomat said Belgrade is conducting talks with the EU on Serbia’s European integration, but reiterated that the status of Kosovo must be determined “on the basis of agreements and compromises within the UN Security Council. During the talks [with the EU] we insist that Serbia’s accession to the European Union and Kosovo’s status are separate and independent issues,” Vukićević said.

According to a plan proposed by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari for Kosovo’s supervised independence, the UN must pass supervision over the region to the EU. But the Serbian diplomat said the EU cannot assume administrative control over the disputed province without a UN resolution, that would give the European bloc legal authority to take over the UN protectorate.

According to sources in the Russian Foreign Ministry, Belgrade and Priština might hold another round of negotiations on the status of Kosovo later this week pending their readiness to host the Kosovo Contact Group’s troika. Established July 25 to mediate during new Kosovo talks between Serbia and Kosovo, the troika comprises Russia, the EU, and the United States as part of the Contact Group, which also involves France, Italy and Germany. (b92.net)