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Ukrainian MP: Serbia should give up its imperial tendencies and accept Kosovo

Ukrainian MP, Oleksiy Goncharenko

The Ukrainian MP, Oleksiy Goncharenko, says that Kosovo cannot be a "grey area" in Europe. According to him, Serbia should accept the fact that Kosovo is an independent state and establish neighborly relations with it.

"The era of empires in Europe is over", says Goncharenko, referring, as he says, to the trend in Serbia.

If it does not give up this approach, Serbia will continue to live in poverty and revanchism, "being exploited by Russia, Iran and other countries that want to light a fire in the Balkans", says Goncharenko.

In the interview given to Radio Free Europe, he expresses the hope that Kosovo will become a full member of the Council of Europe, after the vote in May.

"Kosovo belongs to the free world. It needs our help to develop values ​​as a new country, as a new democracy. It needs the expertise of the Council of Europe. This is not about political debates, it is about two million people who deserve to be part of the largest organization in the world, which fights for human rights, rule of law, democracy - for core values for all of us", he said.

He has said that he hopes that the formation of the Association of Municipalities with a Serbian Majority will not become an obstacle for Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe.

According to him, the Kosovo authorities must continue to show commitment to basic values, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

He has repeated that Serbia must accept the fact that it cannot be the emperor.

"Unfortunately, I see that there are two trends in Serbia. One is about building a democratic country, which I fully support, and the other is about rebuilding the Serbian empire. And I have openly said that the age of empires in Europe is over. All these revanchist and imperialist feelings that some Serbian politicians are trying to promote in Serbia, to strengthen in Serbia, are a big obstacle for the development of Serbia itself. Therefore, Serbia must come to terms with the fact that it can no longer be the emperor. It should be a normal and democratic country. That way, it would be part of the free world. Otherwise, it will continue to live in poverty, in revanchism, being exploited by Russia, Iran and other countries that want to light a fire in the Balkans. Kosovo cannot be a gray area. Serbia must accept the fact that Kosovo is an independent state, recognized by other countries, and establish relations with Kosovo as a neighbor. This is a job that must be done and Kosovo and Serbia and the whole of Europe would benefit from it," he said.

He has said that  there is no progress regarding this recognition of Kosovo by Ukraine at the moment, but according to him, the reason is clear.

"Ukraine is in a very difficult position and, with all due respect to Kosovo, it is not the main issue for Ukraine now," he said. /REL