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LOCAL SERBS BITTERLY DISAGREE ON BORDER RESOLUTION


20, Nov. 2011. (Adnkronos AKI)

Kosovo Serb leaders and Belgrade officials on Friday sharply disagreed on the arrangements on two border crossings negotiated by Serbian and Kosovo authorities negotiated under the auspices of the European Union.

At a stormy session of parliamentary committee for Kosovo, Kosovo Serbs accused the head of Belgrade’s negotiating team, Borko Stefanovic, of treason and of helping implementation of Kosovo independence, declared by majority Albanians in 2008, which they oppose.

Belgrade officially opposes Kosovo independence, but is pressured by the European Union to establish “good neighborly relations” and to resolve border crisis in the north of the province in order to get a status of an official candidate for EU membership next month.

Kosovo Serbs, who make a majority population in the north, don’t want Kosovo police and customs at border crossings of Jarinje and Brnjak, saying it would separate them from Serbia which they consider their only state.

But in Brussels talks, sponsored by the EU, Stefanovic negotiated that two border crossings be manned by joint Kosovo and Serbian police and customs, which Kosovo Serbs find unacceptable.

Dragisa Djokovic, an MP of president Boris Tadic’s ruling Democratic Party, said the government was ready to sacrifice Kosovo Serbs for EU candidacy. “The goal is Europe at all costs and they are ready to do everything for it, even if it means sacrificing a part of the population, Djokovic said.

“The government has sold out Kosovo for EU candidacy,” an opposition deputy, Vladimir Milentijevic, said. The mayors of four Serb municipalities in northern Kosovo, who attended the meeting, said Stefanovic’s deal was detrimental to their interests and they would not implement it.

But Stefanovic retorted the mayors were not entitled to conduct the state policy and vowed the agreements reached will have to be implemented. “It is not true that the mayors represent all citizens, there can be no separate political entity within the state,” he said, reminding the mayors that they were paid by Belgrade.

Exchanging harsh words with government officials, the four mayors vowed they would press criminal charges against Stefanovic “for treason and gor violation of the constitution”.

Stefanovic is due to resume talks with Kosovo officials on outstanding issues in Brussels on Monday. “We know that the solutions will be disliked by some, but nevertheless they will surely be implemented,” he said.



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