The President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić said that today was the first time that someone from Europe said that Serbia and Kosovo were required to recognize each other, and pointed out that Serbia would consider how to deal with that in the upcoming period.

“As much as you love the territorial integrity of Ukraine, the Serbs love the territorial integrity of Serbia,” said Vučić at the press conference held with the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and reminded that the United Nations Resolution No. 1244 which guarantees the full territorial integrity of Serbia is still in full force.

That was Vučić’s answer when asked by the German Der Spiegel to comment on the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s statement from earlier today in Priština that neither of the countries may become a member of the European Union unless they recognized each other, and whether he saw it as a warning as it relates to European integration.

“That is not our reaction to being put under pressure or threatened by somebody, so you would have to do that for many reasons, and I would rather not get into that today. We heard today that they require mutual recognition. We have never heard from Europe before that they would require mutual recognition, we have been listening, and what does form a part of the negotiation platform that Serbia has with the EU — is a comprehensive normalization of the relations between Belgrade and Priština. And nobody had said anything about mutual recognition before,” said Vučić, reported Tanjug.

He said that only the United States had adopted that as a doctrine three years ago, but that nobody in Europe had required mutual recognition.

“We learned that today at the conference in Priština. I can understand it, it is what I had seen coming. Things are changing to the detriment of Serbia. But if you think that you have to threaten us for wanting to preserve the order of the UN and reach a compromise solution — you do your job, and we will do ours,” said Vučić.

He emphasized that it was important to him that Scholz understood what the essence of the problem was, and that things must be resolved one step at a time.

“Serbia had never given up on dialogue, nor refused one single meeting. Serbia attended and accepted every invitation. We also accepted the document about missing persons a year ago and we could have signed it, but we did not do so due to the whims of certain others,” said Vučić.

We are prepared to discuss compromise solutions, added Vučić.

“All this about mutual recognition is a surprise to us as well. Germany is big and powerful. We will consider how to deal with that in the upcoming period. We will be prepared to make progress in dialogue, and for discussions. I believe that we are close to fully finalizing the agreement on missing persons and energy. Today we held negotiations with the Turkish side about their presence in the north of Kosovo and Metohija, we agreed on that, we hope that only technicalities are left and that we will see results in the days ahead,” said Vučić.

Earlier, asked by Der Spiegel what would be the consequence regarding Serbia and Kosovo’s accession to the European Union if Serbia continued to refuse to recognize Kosovo, the Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz said that the position of Germany on the matter was clear, and that he hoped to see some progress.

“Both sides must contribute to that. Not delay meetings, but take a series of small steps leading to the finish line,” said Scholz.