The process of Serbia's European integration has nothing to do with any internal processes, no matter if they are political or Kosovo, the Bulgarian deputy premier and minister of foreign affairs Ivaylo Kalfin said in Athens after a meeting with his colleagues from Greece and Romania. For the first time this tripartite format is being held with the participation of EU member states from the Balkans The purpose of the meeting was to consolidate the positions of the three countries on the stability and the future of the region.
Dora Bakoyannis, Ivaylo Kalfin and Adrian Cioroianu were unanimous that the European future of Serbia and the status of Kosovo had nothing in common. They added that Belgrade's EU membership should not be traded in any way. On my question what would Serbia's motivation be to give Kosovo away, the Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said:
"I don't think that someone wants to put Serbia in this dilemma. The European perspective of Serbia is the best for the Serbian people and for all of us who are part of the region. We now how important it is for Serbia to become a member of the EU after, of course, it fulfills all criteria. This is very important for the stability in the region. But no one is trying to say, or at least not us, to the Serbian government that the European perspective is in exchange for Kosovo. These are two separate matters", Bakoyannis concluded.
The three ministers also said that Serbia should as soon as possible sign an Association agreement with the EU. Ivaylo Kalfin added that this was even possible on the 28th of January if Serbia could manage to convince all of its European partners that it was fully cooperating with the war tribunal in the Hague.