Belgrade: Pristina to withdraw; EU to say if Brussels Agreement still exists

NEWS 21.09.2021 14:07
Aleksandar Vučić, Savet za nacionalnu bezbednost
Tanjug/Strahinja Aćimović

Serbia demands the withdrawal of Kosovo's police from the north, the return to the previous situation talks in Brussels, and, if possible, an agreement, President Aleksandar Vucic has said after the National Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

The meeting was called after Monday’s tensions following Pristina’s decision to implement reciprocal measures and demand the change of license plates from Serbia, as Kosovo’s drivers had to do when crossing the border.

Ana Brnabić, Aleksandar Vučić, Nebojša Stefanović

The Council, as he said, also demanded an EU urgent response to whether the Brussels Agreement was still in force and when the Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) would be formed.

In the meantime, Miroslav Lajčak, the EU special envoy for Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations, called for call for an immediate de-escalation.

Earlier on Tuesday, Pristina said the „CSM would not be formed at the expense of Kosovo.“

Vucic said Belgrade would wait for a month, and if there were no answer, it would be clear that the Brussel Agreement did not exist anymore.

He added he rejected the European Union suggestion about how a compromise should look like. That suggestion, according to him, meant Kosovo should give up 70 percent of what it intended to do at „the administrative line“ but introduce 20 to 30 percent of new measures.

„I rejected that because I’m fed up with the fait accompli policy. You cannot talk to Serbia in that way,“ Vucic said.

He described Monday’s event as „the sixth intrusion in the Kosovo north, with armoured cars, long rifles and the mistreatment of the local population without prior notice to the mayors of four municipalities with a Serb majority.“

„The only solution is the withdrawal, and then talks in Brussels to reach an agreement of possible,“ Vucic reiterated.

He warned that if violence happened, „KFOR must react, and if there is no NATO reaction, I had already said that we won’t allow the pogrom as it was in 2004,“ when at least 14 died, and hundreds were wounded in the worst ethnic clash in Kosovo after the 1998-1999 war there.

Vucic did not specify what Belgrade would do if NATO-led KFOR did not take any action but said that additional measures to protect Serbia’s interest would be considered in the next several days.

„But, Belgrade wants to show goodwill and leave Pristina some time to change its bad decisions,“ he said.

He called on the EU, UK and US to guide Pristina to immediately abolish what he said was „an illegal verdict against Ivan Teodosijevic.“

Teodosijevic, former minister of administration and local self-government in the Kosovo cabinet, was sentenced to two years in prison for „inciting national, religious, racial hatred, unrest or intolerance.“ He denied NATO 1999 intervention was based on a looming humanitarian catastrophe of Kosovo Albanians and said the Racak massacre was faked to excuse the Alliance’s bombing.

„Not only does Pristina ban different opinions, it directly violates the Brussels Agreement by not having two Serbs and one Albanian in the court’s Council. Such Council has never been formed,“ Vucic said.