Serbian Minister of EU Integration Jadranka Joksimovic proclaimed that Serbia "will not be conditioned by recognizing Kosovo in order to become a member of the EU."
Reacting to President Aleksandar Vucic's statement that the EU will ask Serbia to sign a legally binding document on normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina, Joksimovic said that this does not entail the recognition of Kosovo.
The signing of a legally binding document is envisaged by the Brussels agreement, Joksimovic told Serbian public broadcaster RTS.
Joksimovic acknowledged that some EU members would want Serbia to recognize Kosovo, but the minister highlighted that the EU is status neutral due to the fact that member states such as Spain, have not recognized Kosovo either.
"Of course we can become a member of the EU if we do not recognize Kosovo. Precisely, the essence of a normalization agreement is to define the normalization framework that will not force us to recognize an independent Kosovo, but which will surely mean a whole series of concessions - but under the condition that Pristina fulfils its basic obligation (from the Brussels agreement), which is the Community of Serb Municipalities," the minister announced.
She stressed that the content of a legally binding agreement would be defined by the results of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. "There will be no 'Kosovo or EU' dilemma because if there were, it would be an indicator that the standards that we are talking about daily with Brussels do not exist, and those are reforms, the rule of law, and administrative capacities," concluded Joksimovic.