Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told the Voice of America that Serbia can’t recognize Kosovo in the current circumstances.
He said the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue needs to be continued to reach a compromise solution. “We can talk about everything only if it’s about a compromise. They will never get my signature to give the Albanians everything and Serbia nothing. At this moment I am the president of Serbia, you can find someone else who will accept that without a compromise, following ultimatums only,” he said.
Vucic said that he expects very serious pressure on Belgrade over Kosovo. “It won’t be easy, but we will fight. We have to realize that our dreams have nothing to do with reality,” he said, adding that he does not want to jeopardize Serbian-US relations and warning that any conflict or humiliation is a disaster for Serbia.
Vucic said that Belgrade can’t change Washington’s decision to recognize Kosovo as independent but denied that this means that Serbian should do the same. “That does not mean that. It means that we have to fight and that we understand America’s view. They recognized Kosovo, that is their police and it won’t change. What we want is to fight for our interests, get as much as we can for our people in Kosovo and the same for Serbia,” he said.
Speaking after meetings with US State Secretary Mike Pompeo and his deputy assistant Mathew Palmer, Vucic said that he was told that Washington has called Pristina to revoke the tariffs on Serbian goods as soon as they were imposed, adding that the tariffs run counter to what America is based on – a free market, free flow of goods, capital and services. “Can America exert greater pressure (on Kosovo), I am convinced that it can. Will that be the case – I think everyone is waiting for the elections,” the Serbian president said. According to Vucic, pressure to start a fundamental dialogue should be expected in December after the new government is formed in Pristina.
“I said that we are prepared to talk as soon as the tariffs are revoked because elementary conditions and trust between the international community and all of us has to exist for us to talk and reach an agreement. That trust does not exist if you impose tariffs in the way you did,” he said.
Vucic said that Washington’s position differs from the position of the Europeans on demarcation, specifying that the Americans said they’re not thrilled by the idea because they recognized Kosovo in its current borders and want to see mutual recognition.