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Bildt: Barricades removal not related to candidacy

10. November 2011. | 10:57

Source: Tanjug

 Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt evaluated Wednesday that the issue of removing barricades in northern Kosovo should not be connected with granting EU candidate status to Serbia.

 Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt evaluated Wednesday that the issue of removing barricades in northern Kosovo should not be connected with granting EU candidate status to Serbia.

The barricades are useless and counterproductive, because life in Kosovo becomes difficult, said Bildt, and added that he does not see a direct connection between removing the road obstacles and getting the candidate status.

The Swedish minister told B92 that statements about how Serbia's candidate status is jeopardized because Germany is dissatisfied with the situation in Kosovo are just rumors.

He said that he is not familiar with statements that Germany demands barricades be removed by December 9, when the decision on Serbia's candidacy should be made at the EU Summit.

Bildt recalled that the continuance of dialogue with Pristina is one of the most important preconditions for Serbia in terms of receiving the EU candidate status, and pointed out that the country has met all the conditions defined by the Copenhagen criteria.

Dismantling of the barricades is not completely within Belgrade's power, he said, adding that the Pristina authorities have to strive to gain the trust of citizens in the whole territory of Kosovo, including the Serbs in the north.

Bildt said that he and other EU officials condemn the attempt of Pristina to take over borders using force, and pointed out that Belgrade had measured reactions when that occurred.

He could not say precisely whether Serbia will get the EU candidate status in December.

Even if this was decided, I would not say it, because no situation is final, Bildt noted.

He, however, voiced concern about negative stances of certain EU member-states when it comes to enlargement of the Union.

Bildt qualified the situation in Kosovo as unfavorable, adding that it significantly deteriorated since July and that Belgrade and Pristina need to make a full contribution to resolution of the situation.

As for the borders in the Balkans, he said he responsibly claims they will not change.

The Swedish foreign minister also said that the announcements on implementation of the 'Ahtisaari Plus' plan, as EU's comprehensive plan for Kosovo, are rumors and that he does not believe such a plan exists.


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14. November - 20. November 2011.