Which EU member was asked to do what is asked of Serbia?

18. Jul 2021.
In an interview with the Austrian APA agency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Selaković, pointed out that the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is the most important topic on Serbia's path to the EU, expressing confidence that Belgrade will not have to give up Kosovo for membership in the Union, and that nothing similar was ever required of any of the candidate countries.

"Do you know of a case where a candidate country was asked to do something similar to become a member?", Selaković asked.

The minister also asked how this could be a precondition for EU accession, in a situation where not all members have the same position regarding Kosovo.

"Kosovo is not only a southern province according to the Constitution of Serbia, but also on the basis of UN Resolution 1244. Serbia joined the UN with its borders, which include Kosovo and Metohija, and we are a member of the UN", he underlined.

At the same time, he points out that Belgrade is still ready for a compromise solution with Pristina, which must be sustainable, applicable and acceptable to both sides.

"That does not mean that one side should get everything and the other nothing," he pointed out.

According to the APA, Selaković did not want to talk about what a compromise solution might look like, and when it came to changing the borders, he said that no one was talking about that.

"There is no such solution on the table", he emphasized.

Asked if Belgrade could come to terms with the fact that Kosovo Albanians do not want to live in Serbia, he answered with the question: "Is it reasonable for a million Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be forced to live in B&H?".

As he says, precisely because this is a matter of principles, Serbia fully supports the territorial integrity of B&H.

"We know that our attitude towards B&H preserves our position regarding Kosovo. I have not met anyone who could explain to me why the principle of self-determination should apply only to Albanians in Kosovo, but not to Serbs in Republika Srpska", he pointed out.

Selaković added that on the issue of Kosovo, the international community thought that changing the border was a good solution.

"I don't think that's a good solution. If the border changes once, then it will always happen. This is not good for the region, nor for us", said the head of Serbian diplomacy.

Selaković criticized Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti, pointing out that Pristina does not want to fulfill the Brussels Agreement, that is, the obligation to form the Association of Serb Municipalities.

"If there is an agreement, then it must be fulfilled, regardless of whether someone likes it or not", he said.

Belgrade, he says, has fulfilled all its obligations and is now waiting for the EU and Kosovo Albanians to do so.

Selaković expressed concern over Kurti's sympathies regarding the unification of Kosovo and Albania, adding that he was not worried about his statements, but about the "silence in European capitals".

Selaković advises the future high representative of the international community for B&H, Christian Schmidt, to be impartial.

"If a solution for B&H is desired, he must not interfere and stand only on one side", he said.

Bosnian Serbs, he says, have good reasons for being skeptical of the international community's high representative.

He said that the former high representative used his powers to limit the competencies of RS.

"The Dayton Peace Agreement is one of the most successful peace projects not only in Europe, but in the world, and it should be preserved", Selaković stressed, adding that changes to the agreement are possible only with the consent of all three peoples and two B&H entities.

On the issue of Serbia's European path to the EU, he criticized the process of accession to the Union and the hypocrisy of certain countries in their treatment of Serbia.

"How can it be that EU member states are ready to accept EU citizens, but not Serbia as a member?", he asked.

Selaković pointed out that the goals in the EU accession process are constantly changing.

Although Serbia, as the first candidate from the region, accepted the new methodology, it did not receive an accession date, which, he says, is a huge difference compared to previous rounds of EU enlargement, in which the conditions and dates were clear from the beginning.

He emphasized that pointing to economic data, Serbia is well prepared for EU membership.

Selaković pointed out that this year's economic growth of Serbia will be higher than six percent, that the country meets the Maastricht criteria regarding public debt, and that the unemployment rate has dropped from 26.9 percent to nine percent in the past few years.

According to him, many young Serbs are now returning to their homeland to work in international companies.

He also pointed out that Serbia attracts most of the region's foreign direct investments.

Selaković emphasizes that Serbia's membership in the EU should not be important only to our country.

"We see that the EU could repent much more if Serbia does not become an EU member", he underlined, adding that, after all, the EU does not want a "vacuum" in the region.

Selaković also believes that it is important for the EU to get "fresh blood".

Regarding the issue of the fight against illegal migration, he said that it was paradoxical that Serbia was facing waves of migrants from the territory of the EU. He pointed out that many countries are interested in partnership with Serbia on that issue.

"Somehow it has become normal to want Serbia as a partner when it comes to problematic issues, but Serbia is not wanted as a partner or member when it comes to good issues", he said.

Speaking about the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, Selaković thanked for his support.

"It doesn't matter if we all share his position, he is a great leader and a brave man, and the only problem I see with him is that he is someone who always says what he thinks. Unfortunately, that is no longer common in today's world", Selaković stated.

He reminded that Europe is based on freedom of expression and that it will survive as long as it accepts differences on the issue of different attitudes.

He personally says that he wants Europe to support its identity and culture more strongly, instead of constantly talking only about the market, trade and money.



Source: Tanjug