27 January 2008

Kostunica Stands Firm

Arrival of EU mission in Kosovo-Metohija would annul SAA
Belgrade, Jan 26, 2008 – Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica said this evening that if an EU mission arrives in Kosovo-Metohija, signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU would mean signing the recognition of the independence of Kosovo-Metohija.
Speaking in an interview on the Radio Television of Serbia, Kostunica said that sending the EU mission to the province, implies implementation of Ahtisaari’s rejected plan, and it would annul the SAA which states that Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. The Serbian Prime Minister said that the independence of Kosovo-Metohija can be legal only if Serbia gives it away.He added that Serbia attempted to find a “proper balance” between cooperation with the EU and safeguarding its territory, and stressed that neither the Serbian Constitution nor moral principles give this generation the right to give away part of the country’s territory as a gift. He reiterated that the agreement between Serbia and Russia on cooperation in the oil and gas industries is of strategic importance and will make gas supply in Serbia stable during the upcoming decades. He said that this is a very profitable agreement, which will draw new investments, boost employment in Serbia, and make the country more secure. The Prime Minister said that the majority of EU countries are turning to Russia because it is rich in energy recourses so there can be nothing controversial about Serbia doing the same since it is in great need of energy, especially gas supply.