BELGRADE – Germany will not ratify an agreement on Serbia’s membership in the European Union (EU) until Belgrade recognizes Kosovo as a full-fledged member of the United Nations, Serbian media reported Monday citing a source in the German parliament.
According to the Serbian daily Danas, an unnamed member of the Bundestag from the ruling Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) party said that top Serbian officials were told that Kosovo’s membership in the UN will be one of the conditions for Serbia to be accepted in the European Union.
“We said that we [Germany] would not ratify Serbia’s membership in the EU unless Serbia accepts Kosovo becoming a full-fledged member of the UN. However, it is still an open question in my party, because there are different opinions on this issue,” the paper’s source said.
Kosovo, which is inhabited mostly by ethnic Albanians, declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 after years of conflict with Belgrade. Serbia considers Kosovo to be part of its territory. Dozens of countries, including Russia, do not recognize Kosovo as an independent state.
“It is time to launch the process of recognition of Kosovo’s membership in the UN, to convince the people in the ruling Serbian Progressive Party to agree to this request and to prepare the public in Serbia for the decision. We’ll have to talk with Prime Minister Vucic and other parties in Serbia more about what the normalization of relations with Kosovo means. When we asked this question to the Serbian officials they did not respond. For us, the normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo means that Kosovo is a UN member,” the German lawmaker was quoted as saying.
On August 25, 2015, at a high-level political meeting in Brussels, Belgrade and Prishtina signed a set of agreements aimed to normalize the mutual relations, among which a key deal was to establish the Association of Serb Municipalities which would enable the Serbs living in Kosovo to have a greater autonomy.