18 November 2006

Unilateral recognition of independence of Kosovo-Metohija legal violence
Belgrade, Nov 18, 2006 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said yesterday that he does not believe that a solution for Kosovo-Metohija can be reached by unilateral recognition of the independence of the province, because that would be a most serious violation of the UN Charter and the UN SC Resolution 1244.
In an interview to the news agency Beta, Kostunica said that in that case we would have an example of legal violence and two-fold violation of fundamental principles of international law. He said that, on one hand, it would go against the UN Charter and the UN SC Resolution 1244, and on the other hand such a decision can not be brought without the Security Council.According to Kostunica, ignoring the Security Council and the UN can not be without consequences for countries which take that step, a step which cannot be considered anything else but legal violence. The Serbian Prime Minister stressed that that is particularly the case with NATO member countries because it would completely alter the light in which the so called humanitarian military intervention by NATO in Serbia in 1999 is seen.Kostunica pointed to the fact that then a connection could be made between the military action against Serbia and the seizure of part of its territory seven years later.In that case relations between Serbia and these countries could change radically, without regard to details. I strongly believe that they will not resort to unilateral recognition of the independence of Kosovo-Metohija and legal violence, said the Serbian Prime Minister.According to Kostunica, not even a single political party in Serbia would tolerate any unilateral solution, at this moment. Kostunica stressed that all political parties in Serbia, through parliament resolution, and finally through the Constitution, have taken the unified position that Kosovo-Metohija is and must remain an integral part of Serbia, and warned that responsibility lies with the other side, with those who might resort to legal violence. He said that the Serbian government succeeded in clearly formulating and pursuing a single policy, which showed results in practically all segments. The Serbian Prime Minister explained that Kosovo is being offered the highest degree of autonomy and that the model for autonomy has been made according to other models in the world. Serbs and ethnic-Albanians lived together for centuries, with the strains that also exist within one ethnic community, let alone different ones, said Kostunica. He added that Serbs, during their history, never declared that they cannot live with Albanians, which is a very significant fact and should be stressed upon.He pointed to the fact that the Serbian government presented the proposal that the province is regulated, for the first time, according to democratic principles and that Kosovo-Metohija gets substantial autonomy inside Serbia. According to Kostunica, the government has made progress in all areas and that is something citizens can feel.We have confronted corruption and crime, although that is a fight which continues. In that fight no one has been spared. At the same time recognition arrived from outside – by the European Commission, the World Bank, recalled Kostunica, and added that no one is trying to conceal the fact that a lot remains to be done. He stressed that the Serbian government has achieved enormous success in cooperation with the Hague tribunal and has done more than all previous governments when it comes to the issue of the number of indictees sent to The Hague in a manner which did not create disturbance in the society.Ultimately, it was accepted by the public that a country can not be held hostage by individuals, and that the development of the country can not be stopped because of it. I am convinced that after all that has been achieved, even though cooperation with The Hague has not been concluded, it is very near the end.The Prime Minister denied the assertion that there was no political will to conclude cooperation with the Hague tribunal.That is an issue of technical conditions, explained Kostunica, and added that political will undoubtedly existed and was made concrete through the Action Plan and cooperation between all security departments which has improved significantly.He said that it is very important that the new Constitution of Serbia was adopted just a few months after Serbia became a separate state, and that our country has thus shown maturity.The new Constitution is a good basis for further development of our country and is a result of consensus of parliamentary parties and the expression of the general will of citizens at the referendum, said the Prime Minister, and added that due to that the Constitution is indeed a historical one.