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Serbia’s EU aspirations depend on implementation of agreements with Kosovo – president

Aleksandar Vucic spoke about the hard work ahead

BELGRADE, March 19. /TASS/. Serbia’s progress towards European Union membership will depend on implementation of agreements reached during talks in North Macedonia’s Ohrid, the Serbian leader said early on Sunday.

"On Monday, we will invite all political parties represented in the parliament for consultations, and will discuss whether we should put forward a joint document or not. There is more tough work for us to do," Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said after the 12-hour EU-mediated talks with the prime minister of the unrecognized Kosovo republic, Albin Kurti.

"If we want to remain <…> on the European path, our progress will be assessed in terms of what we will do to implement what I announced earlier tonight," Vucic said.

On February 27, the External Action Service of the European Union published its document, headlined Agreement on the path to normalization between Kosovo and Serbia. The document proposes mutual recognition of passports, establishment of Permanent Missions and a commitment to work on "a legally binding agreement on comprehensive normalization of their relations." It also includes the assumption that neither of the two can represent the other in the international sphere or act on its behalf.

According to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo tentatively approved the text of the treaty during talks in Brussels. The agreement will enter force when the plan for its implementation is approved.

After studying the EU plan, Vucic said his republic was forced to choose between isolation and agreeing to all provisions of the new plan, which, among other things, implies Kosovo’s accession to the United Nations, which equals a de-facto recognition of its independence.

Moreover, the West threatened to suspend Serbia’s European integration process, stop investment and impose sanctions if Belgrade refuses to accept the terms of the new concept of talks. Vucic described the negotiations as "the toughest of all" he ever had.