Selin ATAY-TDO-The EU Commissioner on Thursday stressed that Serbia cannot move forward towards its EU integration without agreeing with Pristina.
Whatever Serbia does for European integration, it cannot move forward towards the EU without agreeing with Pristina, said Oliver Varhelyi, the commissioner for European neighborhood policy and enlargement negotiations, in a joint press conference with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
"For the whole region, the relationship between Serbia and Kosovo is crucial. We are all looking at both countries so that they can come to a long-term peaceful solution, but that cannot happen by itself," said Varhelyi, adding that a deal is needed.
According to Varhelyi, first of all, the two countries must sit together for a dialogue.
"In that sense, the first step to this is in Kosovo, which is to abolish the fees they have introduced, because without that it will be difficult to restart the dialogue," Varhelyi added.
Referring to the "small Schengen" initiative, which aims to facilitate the circulation of people and goods among countries in the region that are not yet EU members, Varhelyi said it is a positive initiative and should include all Western Balkan countries.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Kosovo has been recognized by U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Turkey and other more than 100 countries. Yet Serbia, Russia, and China have not yet recognized its independence.