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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Serbia cannot enter NATO with Kosovo

BELGRADE -- Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said that Serbia must give up its fight for Kosovo if it wants to become a member of the NATO alliance.

He said that RUSSIA would then have to question its stances towards Kosovo, adding that “We cannot be bigger Serbs than the Serbs themselves,” daily Blic writes.

“All NATO member-states have not recognized Kosovo. Those are Spain, Greece, Romania and Slovakia who have not. But according to international law, and the NATO statute, such a situation is an obstacle for Serbia joining the Alliance,” Rogozin said.

He said that the stance of most NATO member-states will not change, which means that the Alliance can accept Serbia as a member-stated only with “new” borders—without Kosovo.

“Belgrade will have to officially recognize Pri┼ítina’s sovereignty, which will also change the stances of Madrid and Moscow,” he said.

Asked what Moscow’s opinion is on the discussion of Serbia’s Atlantic integrations, Rogozin said that he understands the stances of the Serbian politicians and military elite that want Serbia to join NATO.

He reminded that NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Serbia does not have to join NATO first if it wants to join the European Union.

Rogozin said that it is hard for him to understand how Belgrade can speak of NATO integration when there are still images in the capital of damage done by the 1999 NATO-led bombing.

“The problem of Kosovo is there as well, since most NATO member-states have recognized its independence, also, there is the demonization of the Serbian people, the flagrant anti-Serbian double-standards of the West towards participators in the wars of the former Yugoslavia…Has that been forgotten? Russia would not understand Serbia’s decision in favor of NATO considering everything I have mentioned,” Rogozin said.

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