Serbia will reject membership of the European Union if it is forced to recognize Kosovo. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said this after Thursday’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. According to Vučič, no solution to the Serbian-Kosovo conflict will be possible without Moscow’s consent.
“If you think that we will recognize Kosovo or that Kosovo will join the UN, that we will get nothing but EU membership, our answer will be no,” Vučić said, adding that Serbia was facing difficult times in which the country would face great international pressure.
After the meeting, Lavrov said that the Kremlin would only support a solution to the Kosovo issue that would be acceptable to Belgrade and approved by the UN Security Council, where Moscow has a veto.
Kosovo, now 90 percent Albanian, declared unilateral independence from Serbia in 2008, less than a decade after Belgrade lost control of the Autonomous Region as a result of NATO airstrikes. Apart from the USA, most EU countries, including the Czech Republic, are among the states that have recognized Kosovo’s independence.
However, several EU countries, including Slovakia, have not yet been recognized by Kosovo. With the help of its allies Russia and China, Serbia is also trying to block Kosovo’s entry into international organizations, including the United Nations.
The head of Russian diplomacy supported the European Union’s efforts to normalize relations between Serbia and Kosovo. According to him, however, the so-called Brussels Agreement of 2013 must be fulfilled, and above all its provision, which presupposes the creation of a quasi-autonomous territorial unit composed of districts with a Serbian majority in Kosovo. Despite its signing of the agreement, Pristina has been opposing its implementation for years, fearing that autonomy will allow Belgrade to interfere in the country’s internal affairs.