I am aware of the pressures Serbs are experiencing from Serbia’s parallel structures in Kosovo, one of which is the Serbian List, but the Serb community in Kosovo should gain strength and rebuild behind the more moderate Serb parties and politicians in Kosovo, Self-determination leader Albin Kurti said in an interview with Belgrade based weekly NIN.
When talking about “more moderate Serb parties”, Kurti explained to weekly NIN that he thought about parties such as Serbian Liberal Party (SLS) Slobodan Petrovic or Progressive Democratic Party (PDS) Nenad Rasic, quotes Kontakt plus radio. According to him, by voting for them Serbs in Kosovo would vote for their future, for integration, development and full civil rights.
For Kurti, the Community of Serbian municipalities (ZSO) is a “dead letter on paper”. He explained this by saying that on December 23, 2015, the Constitutional Court of Kosovo declared that the ZSO was contrary to the Constitution of Kosovo with as many as 23 articles. He added that no Serb from Kosovo protested, only Belgrade.
“Reciprocity means to make Belgrade satisfied that the Serbs in Kosovo have their National Council, as Albanians in the ‘Presevo Valley’. We do not know what Serbs in northern Kosovo actually think and want, because the parallel structures, that are Milosevic’s legacy, do not allow them to think and us to hear them,” Kurti stated.
The idea of a ZSO cannot be realized because it is unconstitutional, Kurti said, adding that Serbs from Kosovo all its civil and national rights can and should be exercising as equal citizens through the institutions of “our republic”, Kontakt plus radio quoted.
“I am ready and willing to hear citizens’ rights demands, but not Belgrade’s appetite for territories,” explained the leader of the Self-determination, which won the most votes in Kosovo’s past parliamentary elections.
He added that his government would abolish the tariffs and establish full reciprocity with Serbia.
“Because this is a normal way of bilateral relations, because if Kosovo’s goods cannot enter Serbia due to the form which has the Republic of Kosovo written in it, then the Serbian goods will not be able to enter Kosovo,” Kurti said.
Noting that Serbia’s diplomatic action, which led to Kosovo’s withdrawal of recognition, reduced the number of United Nations (UN) members who would vote in favour of Kosovo’s membership in the organization, Kurti said that “such behaviour of Serbia” was the reason for introducing the tariff on the goods.
“We need to make it clear to the Serbian state leadership that such behaviour cannot lead to the start of new negotiations, much less an agreement or truce,” Kurti said.
He assessed that Serbia must take responsibility and added that he would also seek the help of international partners.
“We need an official statement by Serbia that it will not work against Kosovo’s membership in international communities,” Kurti told NIN.