Serbia Blackmailed to Recognize Kosovo to Join EU, Jeremic Claims

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | December 21, 2011, Wednesday // 20:30
Bulgaria: Serbia Blackmailed to Recognize Kosovo to Join EU, Jeremic Claims Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic says he has been pressured by EU counterparts for the recognition of Kosovo. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Serbia has been warned that it will not be admitted to join the European Union unless it recognizes the independence of its former province, the Republic of Kosovo, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic has revealed.

"Four Foreign Ministers of EU member states have told me that Serbia will not be able to join the EU if it doesn't recognize formally the independence of Kosovo," Jeremic said Wednesday, as cited by Fonet and BGNES.

"Earlier this month we didn't receive the status of an EU candidate state because we didn't renounce explicitly Resolution 1244... We've demonstrated great flexibility and readiness to find a solution through dialogue with Prishtina but there is no way we can fulfill such a wish," the Serbian Foreign Minister elaborated.

He stressed that the failure of the European Council to grant Serbia EU candidate status will not change his country's foreign policy.

Jeremic emphasized Belgrade's four foreign policy priorities – EU integration, preservation of Serbia's territorial integrity, regional cooperation, and economic diplomacy.

Serbia's former province Kosovo declared independence in February 2008 after being ruled by the UN and KFOR since 1999.

As of December 2011, a total of 85 out of 193 (44%) United Nations member states, 22 out of 27 (81%) European Union member states, 24 out of 28 (86%) NATO member states, and 27 out of 57 (47%) member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have recognized Kosovo.

Notable non-recognizers in addition to Serbia include Russia, China, Brazil, as well as Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus, and Slovakia in the EU.

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Tags: Vuk Jeremic, Serbia, kosovo, Kosovo independence, EU, European Union, candidate, EU integration, recognition
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