BELGRADE -- Monday – A decision on the beginning of Kosovo status decisions could be made by October 25, the Serbian prime minister’s Kosovo advisor said yesterday.
Vladeta Jankovic told B92 that there had not been time for a close examination of UN envoy Kai Eide’s report on the implementation of standards in Serbia’s southern province but that a first reading indicated that it listed all instances of standards not being met.
Jankovic says that from Serbia’s point of view Eide could have been more thorough and sharper in his assessment but that from what he has observed, the conclusion that talks should begin immediately is surprising.
“To put it bluntly, the former strategy of standards before status has been discarded in favour of standards and status. The next step is for the Security Council to review the report and to decide on the recommendation of Kofi Annan whether to begin negotiations, when to begin and who will be the main negotiator,” said Jankovic.
Leon Kojen, political advisor to Serbian President Boris Tadic, says Serbia has no reason to be satisfied with Eide’s report but that it has “plenty of sober reflections and rational recommendations”.
The overall impression of the report, says Kojen, is that above all it shows how difficult it will be for Serbia to defend its vital national and state interests in the negotiations. But, he says, Serbia’s dissatisfaction with the report goes beyond Eide’s expected recommendation that talks begin.
“Many of Eide’s assessments in the report are an uncomfortable surprise because they gloss over key facts or present them in a completely inadequate way,” said Kojen.
Nebojsa Covic, who until recently headed Belgrade’s Kosovo Coordination Centre warns that Kosovo will be given conditional independence or more unless Belgrade seriously prepares for the status talks.
Speaking to journalists on behalf of his Social Democratic Party, Covic criticised the policy of the Serbian Government, saying that Eide should be invited to Belgrade to clarify the report so that a constructive relationship can be built with him.