Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Kosovo Serbs on Montenegrin independence

Kosovo Serbs’ political representatives have assessed that

independence of Montenegro will represent additional motive and encouragement to Albanians to fight for independence of Kosovo. Kosovo Serb representatives stated that the will of the citizens of Montenegro expressed in the referendum should be fully respected, and asserted that the secession of the republic could largely influence a resolution of the Kosovo problem.

SLKM head Oliver Ivanovic has said that independence of Montenegro has no political or legal implications to Kosovo, but that it will have a psychological impact on Albanians and be very destructive for the Serbs’ interests in the province. Oliver Ivanovic has assessed that, if the preliminary results of the referendum turn out to be final, then Serbia should undertake urgent steps to regulate relations with Montenegro, “because this will give it an opportunity to concentrate on the main problem – talks on Kosovo’s status.”

Member of Belgrade’s negotiating team Marko Jaksic believes that proclamation of Montenegrin independence will lead to a more difficult position of Serbs in the province and Belgrade’s position in the negotiations on the status of Kosovo.

Commenting on the preliminary results of the Montenegrin referendum, SNC leader for northern Kosovo Milan Ivanovic has stated that there are a lot of similarities between the Montenegrin and Kosovo regimes, which he described as separatist. Ivanovic told Tanjug that the Kosovo and Montenegrin authorities have common lobbyists, while they are also similar by “renouncing Serbs and expelling them,” noticing that “Montenegro renounced 260,000 of its citizens who live in

Serbia.” Milan Ivanovic has assessed that Albanians in the province will use the proclamation of Montenegrin independence to weaken UNSCR 1244 in view of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the SCG.

SNC Vice-President Rada Trajkovic expects a “more serious campaign of the Belgrade authorities for preserving its state borders that also imply Kosovo.” Beta/Tanjug

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