Serbia generously allowed to sit in the backyard of EU without Kosovo?

The decision was made at the meeting of foreign ministers of 27 countries participating in the EU that Serbia will become a candidate for the EU membership. Now the question is whether Serbia joins the ranks with the European Union, and what will happen to Kosovo [Kosovo and Metohija], whose independence was recognized by the majority of the EU members.

A positive decision on granting Serbia the status of a candidate was announced by the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. He noted that currently the Balkan country has fulfilled all necessary conditions. 

The final decision will be made in the next few days, when the Heads of State and Government gather in Brussels. However, until now there has not been a case when the decision of foreign ministers was cancelled. This means that the government of Serbia probably has nothing to fear. [1]

Sitting Serbian President Boris Tadic has been conducting negotiations on the accession to the EU for eight years. He was able to abolish the visa regime for Serbian citizens, but was not as successful in terms of politics. 
The leading EU countries were among the first to recognize the independence of Kosovo and directly linked the European future of Serbia with an official agreement on the rejection of the province. The question of granting a candidate status to Serbia has been postponed because of the "reluctance of the Serbian leadership to engage in a dialogue with the leaders of Kosovo". [1]

 The truth is however, that Serbian regime did everything in their power, even commiting, what some might qualify as unconstitutional and terrorist acts against Kosovo Serbs few days ago, in order to give away Kosovo for EU candidacy. The following excerpt is from a press release of the Serbian National Council of Northern Kosovo and Metohija [3]: 

"Most likely rationalizing that Kosovo Serbs - are not Serbs (?), The Serbian President quickly approved the unleashing of strong forces of Serbian gendarmerie on those few gathered Serbs at the barricades, whose members [gendarmerie] with their armored vehicles took on unarmed Serbian youth.

 It is nothing new for the local Orthodox population to be fired on from armored vehicles and tanks of NATO forces, but none of the Serbs in Kosovo could have dreamed that the Serbian gendarmerie would do the same. It is true that Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija were asking for years , as per the UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the return of 1,000 Serbian police officers, who with their presence would encourage them to stay and survive in this part of Serbia, but not, as last night and this morning, to persecute them with a pointed weapon just because they defend their families, their own Kosovo and Serbia."

TVBN has reported recently that US has given Tadic a deadline of 3rd of March to do everything in his power to bring down Serbian barricades in Kosovo, which are legal means of peaceful democratic protest. Referendum held in Northern Kosovo, showed a staggering result - 99,74% of Kosovo Serbs do not accept Pristina's institutions. This result was dismissed by President Tadic as being "damaging for the interests of Kosovo Serbs and Serbia" (!?) So he sent a special Serbian police force [gandarmerie], trained at Ohio, which attacked Serbs at the barickades, threatened them with guns, and said they will shoot and throw Serbian protesters in Ibar river if they do not comply with the demolition of barricades and support the interests of Belgrade and Pristina. [2]  The event was followed by media blackout. Thus it is clear the only problem Tadic ever had for giving away Kosovo for EU, were Kosovo Serbs, and not Albanians as the EU was trying to portray.

President Tadic, impatient because of coming elections and deadline given by US, however, did not have to battle with Serbs for too long. On February 24 representatives from Belgrade and satisfied Albanian authorities of the area have signed a special agreement on the status of Kosovo. According to the document, Belgrade 'does not recognize its independence', BUT Kosovo is granted the right to participate in regional organizations in the Balkans on its own. In addition, the Serbian and Kosovar police officers will work together to guard the border (!). De facto, this meant that Tadic has taken another step towards the recognition of Kosovo for the approximation of uncertain European future of Serbia. Local Serbian Kosovo officials said they will never accept whatever Tadic has signed with Pristina and EU. Meanhile in Belgrade, angry citizents went out on the streets to protest against "treason and selling out of Kosovo by the government", but police quckly dispersed them , beating one man, and taking away national Serbian flags from protesters.

The supreme EU Commissioner for External and Security Policy Catherine Ashton said after signing the document that with regard to Serbia, the agreements on regional cooperation and integrated management of border crossings are particularly welcome in view of the discussion in the Council (EU) next week on the status of a candidate for Serbia. She added that the EU is working to identify the way to accept Kosovo as an independent member as well. [1]

Tadic also welcomed the signing of the agreement. He said that signing of the agreement is a proof that his policy "both Europe and Kosovo" (!) supported by the citizens of Serbia (!) has stood the historic test and proved that this approach is the only realistic one and brings results. This policy provides the European future for Serbia, protects its national interest (!) and shows that Serbia is a factor of stability in Southeastern Europe, he stated. [1] So basically , EU said "Thank you for coming WITHOUT your wife", and Tadic answered "I'm so happy that I came WITH my wife" [which he voluntarilly burried couple of days before that]. For confused readers, his ridiculous and hypocritical answer was aimed at angry Serbian voters.

Tadic also spoke about the provision of an observer status to his country. He said that Serbia's strategic goal is to become a member of the European Union because the country shares the same values and views with the EU. According to him, the country is doing everything possible to heal the wounds of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. "It's not easy, but we promise to continue to move in the same direction," said Tadic. [1]

On her part, Catherine Ashton had a very peculiar response. She welcomed the positive role in resolving the consequences of the conflict in Kosovo played by Tadic and Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaci suspected of organ trafficking, whom Serbia put on the wanted list 15 years ago. Ashton also noted that the European Commission is making a decision on closer ties with the EU of not only Serbia, but also Kosovo. [1]

Meanwhile, not everyone in Serbia is happy about the fact that their county has virtually agreed to an independent participation of Kosovo in the international organizations for the sake of the European future. The oppositional Serbian Radical Party (SRP) has called the incident "treason". Deputy chairman Dragan Todorovic said about the signed agreement with Kosovo that this was one of the most shameful days in the history of Serbia, and it will be inscribed there in black letters.
What are the benefits for Serbia in joining the EU? Will it result in the final loss of Kosovo? Historians Elena Guskova and Sergei Romanenko shared their thoughts in an interview with "Pravda.Ru".

Elena Guskova, an expert of the Hague Tribunal, the head of the Center for Contemporary Balkan Crisis at the Institute for Slavic and Balkan Academy of Sciences:

"It is clear that for the sake of joining the European Union Tadic is ready to give up Kosovo. Recently in Belgrade the documents of WikiLeaks became publicly known, and they suggest that the President agreed to the surrender of Kosovo back in 2006. He was just looking for a favorable form of the surrender that his country could accept. Reaching an agreement with the Albanian authorities of the area is consistent with his policy. This is also true for Tadic's behavior during the recent events in northern Kosovo, where local Serbs have never received his support.

Tadic's actions were largely connected with the desire to bring the country into the EU. However, Serbia will never become the EU member. The process will drag on, Brussels will impose new requirements. Along with Kosovo the Serbians will be reminded about the Hungarians in Vojvodina, the Slavic Muslims in Sandzak, and the Albanians of the Presevo Valley. There is Hungarian separatism in Vojvodina. Lately, there proved to be Serbian separatism there as well."

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