Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday the government may hold a referendum on a legally-binding agreement for normalisation of the country’s relations with Kosovo.
SERBIA TO HOLD REFERENDUM ON KOSOVO SITUATION ~
“If we want to make changes to the Constitution, and on our European path we will have to, we need to hold a referendum so that the citizens speak out,” Vucic said in a video file posted on the YouTube channel of Serbian public broadcaster RTS.
Holding a referendum is one of the considered options, Vucic added. He did not elaborate
“We will come out to the people, whether we receive support or not will be a matter of responsibility for the future of the country.”
Earlier this month, Kosovo’s deputy prime minister Enver Hoxhaj said the final stage of the negotiations for normalisation of relations with Serbia will begin in June and should be completed at the end of this year or in the middle of 2019 with a mutual recognition.
“The mutual recognition will be the criterion for the normalisation of relations,” Kosovo public broadcaster RTK quoted Hoxhaj as saying.
Serbia does not recognise the independence of Kosovo, its former southern province predominantly populated by ethnic Albanians. Kosovo proclaimed independence from Serbia unilaterally in February 2008 and has so far been recognised by more than half of 193 UN members states.
The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said in February Belgrade needs to normalise its relations with Kosovo as part of a legally binding agreement, in order to avoid problems that could give rise to bilateral conflicts after the EU accession of Serbia.
Serbia is among the most advanced EU accession candidate countries, but the European Commission cannot admit into the bloc countries that have unsettled territorial disputes, as it does not wish to import bilateral conflicts, Juncker stressed.
The recognition of Kosovo as an independent state cannot and shall never be a condition for Serbia’s membership in the EU, Serbian prime minister Ana Brnabic told SeeNews earlier this month.