Serbia: Majority back cooperation with EU even if it recognises Kosovo

Belgrade, 31 July (AKI) - Over two thirds of Serbian citizens believe that Belgrade should continue the cooperation with the European Union even if it unilaterally recognizes independence of southern Kosovo province, which has been under United Nations control since 1999, a high government official said on Tuesday.

Tanja Miscevic, the head of the government’s office for the cooperation with the EU, told a press conference in Belgrade that 71 per cent of 1,047 adult citizens polled endorsed continuing ties with the bloc which might recognize Kosovo. A total 29 per cent said they would favour severing ties.

Brussels has been sending signals to Belgrade that it might speed up Serbia’s entry into EU if Belgrade softened its opposition to Kosovo independence, demanded by majority ethnic Albanians and supported by Western powers and the United States, but Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica has said the proposal was “an insult to common sense”.

The findings revealed by Miscevic are in stark contrast with a survey conducted in June by CESID polling agency, when 48 per cent of citizens surveyed said they would be ready to renounce membership in the EU for the sake of retaining Kosovo within Serbia’s borders.


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