LONDON, June 27 (Itar-Tass) — British Premier Tony Blair is determined to convince Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunisa during their Tuesday meeting here that he should recognise the inevitability of Kosovo’s independence, which the territory is expected to get by the end of 2006, the “Financial Times” reports.
The British side will also call on the Balkan partners once more to ensure Belgrade’s abidance by its international commitments to arrest the persons, who are charged of war crimes. In case of a refusal to implement them and of unwillingness to comply with the new vision of the configuration of the state formations in the south-eastern part of Europe, Belgrade may be confronted with tougher isolation and waning possibility of having closer relations with the European Union, the newspaper predicts.
At the same time, it notes that the Serbian public at large is exerting pressure on Kostunisa to prevent Belgrade from renouncing its “historical claims” to Kosovo. This is why the Serbian authorities are continuing to insist on “maximum possible autonomy” to the territory without granting it independence.
The newspaper also points out that the 100,000 Serbs, still remaining on the territory of Kosovo, are sounding the alarm in view of the resumption ethnic violence, intended to oust them out of Kosovo. Two hundred thousand people have reportedly fled from the territory after the 1999 hostilities, which is at least fifty per cent of the Serbian minority there. Only five per cent of them have returned to their homes in Kosovo in spite of the entry into force of the protocol on the repatriation of refugees, which was adopted with the mediation of the United Nations.