Stefanovic: Crisis in north Kosovo over
11. August 2011. | 12:51
Head of Belgrade's negotiating team in the talks with Pristina Borislav Stefanovic has stated that the crisis in north Kosovo is over, stressing that it is unacceptable to allow Pristina to establish its institutions in the north, or to have the state of Serbia ousted from Kosovo-Metohija.
“The crisis is over, and we are about to enter the dialogue in Brussels. We believe that we will be able to resolve the problem of customs seals, although this issue is not connected to the issue of administrative crossings. This is our red line.
We cannot allow Pristina to establish its institutions in the north, or to have the state of Serbia ousted from Kosovo-Metohija,” Stefanovic said in an interview for the Belgrade-based daily Blic.
He said that the unity of the Serb municipalities in north Kosovo is necessary and that it is not good that the session of the municipal assemblies was suspended, but added that this should not be overdramatized since the agreement with KFOR will be implemented.
“The state cannot act without citizens or vice versa. However, the suspension of (the session) should not be overdramatized. The agreement will be implemented. The municipal presidents requested, without our intervention, to hold a session and decide on the implementation of the agreement, not on the agreement itself,” he said.
Stefanovic noted that this was not necessary and that the removal of barricades began following the decision of crisis staffs.
This agreement is not ideal, and the Serbs in north Kosovo do not accept the ban on flow of goods over three and a half tons, but this was the only solution to avoid attacks on Serbs and possible victims, Stefanovic said.
He stated that it will not be easy to restore the situation to the conditions prior to setting fire on the Jarinje administrative crossing and the seizure of the Brnjak crossing by special Kosovo police unit ROSU.
“We have bought time and got guarantees from international community that there will be no new unilateral moves by Pristina trying to change the situation in the field,” he said, adding that we have not got everything we wanted.
“Serbs in north Kosovo have every right to be distrustful and vigilant. If anyone violates the agreement, the barricades will be returned. The agreement legitimizes Serbia's sovereignty in Kosovo-Metohija given that it was reached with the state of
Serbia rather than with local bodies. In addition, the agreement restrains Pristina, since the international community is the guarantor and KFOR is responsible for the crossings,” he said.