Kosovo President Hashim Thaci says he cannot even imagine the EU accepting Serbia as its member before Kosovo.
Thaci, who was in Zagreb on Thursday for talks with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, told Croatia’s Hina agency in an interview that the biggest concern in southeastern Europe was caused by “the fact that the EU is too slow in bringing countries of the region closer, which opens the door to all kinds of radicalisms, as well as strengthening of the Russian influence.”
He thinks that the EU should therefore make decisions faster, and adds that he cannot imagine Serbia in the EU before Kosovo.
“I cannot imagine something like this happening. I am confident that this will not be the case because Serbia would then certainly block Kosovo, and for an indefinite period of time. The EU knows very well what the attitude and behavior of Serbia is towards Kosovo. But, Serbia too cannot continue on the path of European while not behaving in a European way toward Kosovo,” stressed Thaci.
Thaci, who is effectively campaigning ahead of the early parliamentary election in Kosovo, added that he was confident Serbia would eventually recognize “Kosovo’s independence.”
During the interview, he repeated a falsehood uttered several times in the past – namely, that “in private and informal conversations” Serbian politicians “admit that Kosovo is independent.”
Thaci claims that Pristina “does not aspire to change borders, much less in the direction some kind of ‘Greater Albania’,” and that instead, “this is a construct coming from Belgrade, not from Pristina or from Tirana”.
According to him, Greater Albania is “a concept talked about by Belgrade to cover their ambition of creating a ‘Greater Serbia’.”
Commenting on the recent statements made by a former CIA chief, who said that another round of redrawing of borders in the Balkans would soon inevitably happen, and mentioning above all Macedonia, Albania and Kosovo, Thaci said:
“Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia are sovereign countries with their borders.”
He added that Kosovo was “encouraged by pro-European governments in Macedonia and Albania,” describing as “excellent” the decision on Montenegro’s accession to NATO.
Thaci claims that “the Kosovo army” will be established by the end of this year, after this has been suspended under international pressure.
“Kosovo army will be formed this year. The whole process will be fully in line with NATO standards, fully coordinated with NATO and other partners of Kosovo. It will be a multi-ethnic professional army,” said Thaci.