Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo : PM Thaci to Coordinate Independence with Eu

Magazine article Europe-East

Eu/kosovo : PM Thaci to Coordinate Independence with Eu

Article excerpt

The new Prime Minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, a former guerrilla leader perceived as a more radical supporter of Kosovo's independence than his predecessor, Agim Ceku, has confirmed that his government's next steps would be closely coordinated with the US and the EU. He suggested that his country might declare independence in the coming weeks "Our aim is to make Kosovo independent in the first part of this year," Thaci said after his cabinet won a vote of confidence at the parliament on 9 January in Pristina.

A source close to Ceku, cited by the Polish Press Agency PAP, said that Pristina might declare independence by the end of February, after presidential elections in Serbia set for 20 January, with a second round expected on 5 February and before 1 March, when Russia, a strong opponent of Kosovo's independence, takes the reins of the UN Security Council. Such timing would be favoured by the EU, which is trying to hold up Kosovo's secession until after the presidential elections in Serbia in order not to provide extreme nationalist Tomislav Nikolic - an opponent of pro-EU candidate and current President Boris Tadic - with even more ammunition.

Speaking before the parliament, Thaci said that he counted on support from the EU, the US and NATO for his homeland Kosovo after it proclaims independence. "We will not promise miracles, but we believe that, with this team and with a support from the US, EU and NATO, we can do better in Kosovo," Thaci said.

RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK

In the meantime, the EU does not have much time left to reach full unity on its further steps regarding the status of Kosovo. …

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