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07BELGRADE1276 2007-09-14 19:51:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Belgrade
Cable title:  

KOSOVO WEEKLY: GOS COMPLAINS ABOUT U.S. THREAT; ADVISES

Tags:   PBTS PREL PGOV KPAO KV SR 
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RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHBW #1276/01 2571951
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 141951Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BELGRADE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1449
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BELGRADE 001276 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PBTS PREL PGOV KPAO KV SR
SUBJECT: KOSOVO WEEKLY: GOS COMPLAINS ABOUT U.S. THREAT; ADVISES
KOSOVO SERBS NOT TO VOTE

REF: BELGRADE 1252

Summary
-------



1. (SBU) Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and his
Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) protested throughout the week,
through the media and to the UNSC, the perceived USG "threat" to
Serbia's territorial integrity. Kostunica traveled to Brussels, in
an attempt to organize EU opposition to any possible unilateral
declaration of independence (UDI) by Pristina. The DSS backed off
slightly from previous comments about the use of military force in
case of a UDI. The Russian DCM reiterated to DCM the Russian
government position that Kosovo negotiations should continue, if the
sides failed to reach agreement by December. Serbia's government
and president jointly advised Kosovo Serbs not to participate in the
upcoming assembly elections in Kosovo. Democratic Party (DS)
leadership reverted to its previous silence, and muted endorsement
of the DSS-led positions on Kosovo issues. End Summary.

Kostunica Declares United States "Threatens" Serbia


--------------------------



--------------------------




2. (U) PM Kostunica characterized EUR Deputy Assistant Secretary
Volker's comments to Agence France Press regarding possible
recognition of Kosovo independence as a "U.S. threat," to Serbia's
sovereignty. In local media reports, Kostunica stated on September
8, "using the policy of force, the United States threatens openly
that it will not respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity
of Serbia, which is an internationally recognized state and a UN
member. In that way, the U.S. actually says that it will violate
the UN Charter and Resolution 1244 in the harshest way." Following
up on his public statements that he would call upon the UN to
protect Serbia from the United States, Kostunica instructed Serbia's
UN Ambassador Jevremovic to inform UNSC members of the U.S.
comments.

Ambassador Munter Interview


--------------------------





3. (SBU) The Ambassador, in widely-reported interview for the Beta
Wire Service on September 13, restated the USG commitment to the
ongoing Troika-facilitated negotiations, U.S. hope for a solution
agreeable to both parties to the talks, and U.S. support for
supervised independence of Kosovo, in accordance with the Ahtisaari
Plan, as the best solution for Kosovo, should the current
discussions not produce an alternative.



4. (U) The B92 radio station/internet service reported on September
12 that Dusan Lazic, a member of the MFA's new Advisory Council on
Foreign Affairs, said that Serbia should accept the U.S. Embassy's
answer and focus on negotiations. Lazic said that Serbia should
drop the issue and focus on the remaining Kosovo status talks.
"Even though the explanation does not seem to be sufficient, it
would be better for our side not to add more tension to the
situation," Lazic said.

Government Efforts to De-link Kosovo from EU Membership


--------------------------



--------------------------





5. (U) Local media reported that Kostunica told the European
Commission Chairman Jose Manuel Barroso in a September 12 meeting in
Brussels that "there can be no trading with Kosovo" in the process
of Serbia's entry into the EU. He warned his EU interlocutors that
the threat of a unilateral declaration of Kosovo's independence
would be a threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
Serbia, and would violate the U.N. Charter and Helsinki Act.



6. (U) Former Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, also on the MFA's
Advisory Council, said on September 12, "Serbia's entry into the EU
cannot be conditioned on solving Kosovo's status, because the only
common stand within the EU is to adopt the Ahtisaari plan, in case a
U.N. Security Council resolution is passed; and this has not
happened." He remarked that, even if the U.S. recognized Kosovo,
[independence] would still not be "final" because, in this part of
the world, it was the EU's position that mattered.

Government Must Decide how to Handle UDI and Elections


--------------------------



--------------------------





7. (SBU) Current Minister of Labor and Social Policy and President
of the Sandzak Democratic Party (SDS), Rasim Ljajic, said publicly
on September 13 that the ruling coalition government needed to
decide jointly both how Serbia would react in the event of a Kosovo
UDI and when to hold presidential elections. Otherwise, he said,
the ruling GOS coalition could collapse. In an interview to daily
Vecernje Novosti, he speculated that it would take an agreement
between Tadic and Kostunica on these two issues to prevent a crisis
in the GOS. Ljajic said that the fall of government would not
necessarily lead to new parliamentary elections, but could instead
result in a re-juggling of party control of key positions in
government offices and parliament.

BELGRADE 00001276 002.2 OF 002



Prorokovic Claims Comments were Misunderstood


--------------------------





8. (U) In response to a request from EU Enlargement Commissioner
Ollie Rehn to explain his comments regarding Serbia's options in
case of a UDI (reftel), Prorokovic stated on September 8 that Serbia
was not threatening violence and that its position in the
Troika-facilitated talks was based on the respect for international
law. "I don't know on what Commissioner Olli Rehn has based his
interpretations that Serbia is threatening violence," Prorokovic
told TANJUG, underscoring that he would gladly clarify his stand to
Rehn. "It would be thoughtless of a European commissioner to do
this based on comments and free interpretations of my statements by
some analysts who are at the same time analysts, formally
independent, and advisers to Albanian politicians," Prorokovic said.


Russia Supports Extending Negotiations


--------------------------





9. (SBU) Russian DCM Alexey Sokolov told the DCM on September 13
that Kosovo talks should continue, if there was no agreement between
the parties. Sokolov's comments echoed statements of Russian Troika
member, Aleksandar Botsan-Kharchenko, reported locally on September
12, that Russia would insist on the continuation of the Kosovo
status negotiations after December 10 unless the parties reached a
compromise. In the same interview, Botsan-Kharchenko characterized
DAS Volker's commment as a sign of America "undermining the
process." DCM told Sokolov that Karchenko's public comments did not
help the process. Sokolov stated that whatever the outcome of the
talks, resource-poor and under-developed Kosovo ultimately would be
an "EU problem." In a more encouraging note, Sokolov told DCM that
Russian Ambassador Aleksandar Alekseyev was impressed by his August
meeting in Belgrade with U.S. Troika Representative Frank Wisner and
commended their working relationship and Wisner's knowledge of the
Kosovo process.

Kosovo Serbs Urged not to Participate in Elections


--------------------------



--------------------------





10. (U) The Serbian Government announced on September 13, that the
government, in consultation with President Tadic, advised Kosovo
Serbs not to participate in the upcoming assembly elections in
Kosovo. The government said that it would continue consultations
with President Tadic on the issue of Kosovo Serbs participation in
the local elections.



11. (SBU) Serb List for Kosovo Leader Oliver Ivanovic told the
Ambassador in a September 14 meeting in Belgrade that, with the GOS
announcement it would be difficult for any Kosovo Serbs to
participate in the elections after such a clear statement from
Belgrade. Expressing his disappointment, he said that the GOS had
effectively marginalized anyone who dissented with Belgrade's view.




12. (SBU) Asked what should be the U.S. main message during this
time, Ivanovic said the United States should: issue a strong
message that the United States would not tolerate any form of
violence; insist that Pristina not take any unilateral steps; and,
should effectively explain the U.S. position to European partners.

Comment


--------------------------





13. (SBU) The Ambassador's widely-published and well-received public
statement of USG commitment to ongoing Kosovo negotiations and
support for the Ahtisaari plan effectively countered Kostunica's
press offensive charging that the USG would support a Kosovo UDI.
The Volker story seems to be dying down as a result. The DS's
silence, in particular President Tadic's, in the face of Kostunica's
attack, however, played as muted endorsement for Kostunica's
tactics. Embassy will continue to urge DS leadership to challenge
unhelpful or undemocratic DSS pronouncements, such as the most
recent order for for Kosovo Serbs to boycott the assembly elections.
End Comment.

MUNTER