Mr Kostunica referred to the intention to launch an EU police and civilian mission as to an “illegal decision” and underlined it would effectively “null and void” the initialling of the SAA.
The initialling of the pact – seen as the first step on the country’s path to EU membership – took place in November, and was expected to be fully signed by the end of January.
Mr Kostunica’s fresh ultimatum to the 27-nation EU bloc comes just days after the Serbian parliament adopted a resolution “on the protection of sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional order of Serbia”, stressing that Belgrade will “reconsider” its diplomatic and other relations with any country recognising an sovereign state of Kosovo.
“Any treaty Serbia signs, including the Stabilisation and Association Agreement [with the EU], must be in keeping with preservation of [Serbian] sovereignty and territorial integrity”, the document passed on 26 December says.
Although the Serbs refuse to grant its southern province of Kosovo anything beyond wide autonomy, the EU is currently discussing a scenario under which Pristina would avoid a unilateral declaration of independence, but announces its own state as a result of coordination with international community.
Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO air strikes ended Serbia’s crackdown against ethnic Albanians.
However, it remains unclear to what extent Mr Kostunica’s rhetoric is motivated by the upcoming presidential race. The first round of elections will be held on 20 January, with a possible run-off election on 3 February.
Among the nine candidates are current president Boris Tadic from the pro-European Democratic Party as well as Tomislav Nikolic, vice-president of the Serbian Radical Party, the main opposition force.
It is yet to be announced who will gain the support of the centre-right Democratic Party of Serbia led by Vojislav Kostunica, who is seen as a nationalist.
Source: EU Observer