Profound and fundamental changes will be made to Serbia’s foreign policy after the Council of Europe voted to approve Kosovo’s membership, President Aleksandar Vucic said Tuesday.
The remarks by Vucic came after the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe approved Kosovo’s request for membership in the Council and forwarded it to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
“We will work on it with the elements of taking care of bilateral relations in foreign policy, not going beyond the limits of reciprocity. If someone does not respect our territorial integrity, why should we respect theirs?,” said Vucic. “Why should we protect someone’s territorial integrity at any cost if they are against ours? These are not tectonic, but deep and essential changes in politics and a responsible attitude towards our country.”
Vucic thanked Hungary, Spain, the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus, Romania, Azerbaijan and Georgia for not voting for Kosovo.
”The people who supported public international law and the U.N. Charter – we must not forget what they have done for us and we must always know that these countries come before all others,” he said.
Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Serbia will change its attitude toward countries that abstained from the vote.
”All of these will affect our attitude in the future. Montenegro, for example, could abstain and show some respect towards our problems. Montenegro supported Kosovo’s application. They will need our vote, but they should no longer expect a positive approach from us,” said Dacic.
Serbia is astonished by Ukraine and Hungary’s approaches, said Dacic.
Dacic on Monday described the approval of the application as a disgrace.
He claimed the process will also harm the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue talks for the normalization of relations.
“This decision definitely represents the ‘twilight’ of the Council of Europe charter, because it is the first time that a request is made for a land that is not a state and is not recognized by the United Nations,” said Dacic.
EU Commission spokesman Peter Stano said the bloc’s institutions have noted that Serbia voted against accepting Kosovo’s application for membership in the Council of Europe.
Kosovo’s application for Council of Europe membership
Kosovo announced on Monday that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe approved its membership request and forwarded it to PACE.
Spain, Serbia, Romania, Georgia, the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus, Hungary and Azerbaijan voted against the application.
Greece, Slovakia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina abstained from voting, while Germany, Andorra, Albania, Austria, Belgium, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Croatia, Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, and Türkiye supported the application.