BELGRADE – “Neither Ambassador Kirby nor any other US official has ever linked Kosovo recognition or UN membership to Serbia’s EU candidacy.” the US Embassy in Belgrade said on Friday.


“Any decision on EU membership is the sole responsibility of the European Union,” said a statement sent to Tanjug.

The statement was the US Embassy’s reaction to an interview that former US Ambassador to Serbia William Montgomery had given to Tanjug.

Montgomery expressed the belief that “the West and the United States are definitely not deliberately trying to weaken” Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, but that “their lack of understanding of the Balkans and its problems lead them time and again to take actions which are both counter-productive” and can be perceived exactly in that way.

“A classic example was the highly counter-productive, untimely, unnecessary ‘Christmas gift’ from outgoing US Ambassador Kirby regarding his views on what the US would demand in order to support EU membership for Serbia,” Montgomery said in the interview to Tanjug.

Montgomery said that the US government has “many higher priorities than the Balkans” and that it is engaged in the region at lower levels only because of three issues:

“First, it wants an independent Kosovo to be fully recognized and accepted. Second, it wants Bosnia to remain within its current borders. And third it wants no outbreak of violence in the region,” Montgomery explained.