Lavrov on Kosovo issue: The EU as a mediator in negotiations must not isolate itself from its obligations

Foto: Instagram, Budućnost Srbije

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic met today with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov. According to Vucic, the key topic of the meeting was the relationship between Serbia and Russia within the international framework, support for the sovereignty of Serbia and Kosovo. The president, however, also revealed that he is concerned over the Russian Federation’s assessment regarding „some plans that we did not receive either officially or unofficially.“ The EU as a mediator in negotiations must not isolate itself from its obligations and must fulfill them honestly and fight for the agreed solutions (to form the Association), Lavrov responded.

„Today, we received certain assessments from the Russian Federation – the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, which additionally concerned me as the president. The assessments were related to various plans and ideas regarding the solution to the Kosovo crisis. Obviously, I do not want to deceive anyone or hide something from the Serbian public. It is obvious that we are facing a difficult period in which we will face great pressure to realize some plans that we did not officially or unofficially receive. Based on certain assessments of our Russian friends, it seems to me that we will have to be extremely careful in monitoring every idea that is presented to us,“ the president said after meeting with Lavrov.

Everything is revealed every Vidovdan

The President reiterated yesterday that Serbia would not recognize Kosovo „without getting anything in return“.

„If you think we can say that we recognize Kosovo or for Kosovo to join the United Nations without us getting anything and for someone to tell us – you will be members of the European Union, our answer will be NO.“

According to Vucic, regardless of how difficult the times that lie ahead are – „people will be able to see and discern everything.“

„And we will have to provide clear answers,“ he announced.

The president’s statements arrive ahead of the announced Washington meeting with Pristina officials scheduled for June 27th.

Vucic thanked Russia for protecting Serbia’s interests in the UNSC, but also for acting „together with Serbia, protecting numerous international organizations and institutions from illegality and from the influence of those who have already recognized Kosovo’s so-called independence.“
The president revealed that he will talk to Russia on an „almost daily basis“ from now on.

„One thing is clear, if any solution could be reached in any way – it would require the consent of the Russian Federation,“ Vucic said.

He said that Serbia supports the dialogue under the auspices of the EU, adding that it will know how to preserve its vital national interests regardless of „the price it will have to pay.“

The consultations with the Russian Federation will continue at the upcoming Moscow meeting with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

„We will additionally exchange our assessments, experiences, and findings that we have about events and relations in the international arena and about how and in what way Serbia can endure and preserve its interests in the best possible way.“

According to Vucic, Serbia is facing difficult times, perhaps the most difficult in the last 10 or 12 years since the recognition of Kosovo’s independence after it was recognized by more than 90 countries.

It is extremely important that we understand our position well and that we are strong enough, always ready to talk, always ready to compromise, but strong enough to reject ultimatums and blackmail.

In addition to the issue of Kosovo, the president also talked about Bosnia.

„We have several important events this year, among other things, the anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement. We will have some other anniversaries where there will obviously be attempts to place new burdens on the back of the Serbian state and the Serb people.“

Vucic also asked Russia for the support of the Serbian Orthodox Church „whose survival in the region has been jeopardized.“

Lavrov: We will agree with the decision that suits the Serbs who are defending their own rights and laws

The head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov emphasized that Russia’s attitude towards Kosovo has not changed. Lavrov said that Russia will support a mutually acceptable agreement between Belgrade and Pristina within the framework of Resolution 1244.

He simultaneously called on the EU to be „fair“ in fulfilling its mandate as a mediator in negotiations, including in the implementation of what has already been agreed.

„This problem remains unresolved and Russia assumes that the European Union, which has the mandate of the UN General Assembly for the role of mediator in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, must not isolate itself from its obligations and must fulfill them honestly and fight for the agreed solutions. By that, I mean the agreement on the formation of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities, which is being sabotaged by Kosovo Albanians,“ Lavrov said.

He also recalled that Resolution 1244 supports the sovereignty of Serbia at Russia’s insistence.

„The solution must be in accordance with international law. It must receive the approval of the United Nations Security Council,“ Lavrov underlined, adding that the agreement should not be forced or placed with artificial deadlines.

„We will agree only with the decision that will suit the Serbs who are defending their own rights and laws,“ he concluded.

Lavrov met later with the head of the Serbian Church and SPS’s leader Ivica Dacic. The Russian chief of diplomacy will be staying in Serbia overnight.

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