09 December 2006

We warn states against recognizing Kosovo

Beta news agency, Belgrade, 12 November 2006 15:34

BELGRADE -- Aleksandar Popovic says Ahtisaari's postponement of Kosovo status due to Serbia's elections is an excuse.

"Ahtisaari's plan to secretly, working behind our backs, draft a paper on Kosovo's independence fell through. The real reason why it fell through is Russia's firm and principled position that UN Charter cannot be breached, and it would appear Ahtisaari understood the Russian 'no' quite clearly", science minister Aleksandar Popovic says.

Popovic, of prime minister Kostunica's Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), believes that the best option Martti Ahtisaari has at this time is to step down and let an impartial and objective international mediator take over.

"Our government is sending out a clear warning that any unilateral recognition of Kosovo's independence would have serious consequences. This applies to the NATO countries in particular, those that bombarded Serbia [in 1999]. In that case we would have to ask whether Serbia was in fact bombarded so that 15 percent of our territory could be taken away", Popovic told journalists.