Serbian opposition urges Belgrade to continue EU bid

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Serbian opposition urges Belgrade to continue EU bid

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Serbia must still aim for EU membership despite tensions on its border with Kosovo, Serbian opposition leader Tomislav Nikolic said on Thursday.

The Serbian Progressive Party leader was speaking after meeting with Kosovar Serbs injured in Wednesday’s clashes in northern Kosovo.

The violence left 16 Serb protesters and four NATO troops injured and led to the cancellation of EU-backed peace talks.

Nikolic, who opposes Kosovo’s independence, said Serbia should still attempt to join the bloc.

“Power is concentrated in Moscow, Washington and Brussels. There is no time for talking at the UN and the Security Council. We need to convince in these three capitals. Everything else is empty words,” he said.

Kosovo split from Serbia three years ago.

But 60,000 Kosovar Serbs who live northern Kosovo do not recognise the Pristina government’s authority and its attempts to control the border.

NATO troops are stationed there to keep the peace.

Unrest flared up in July after a row over trade.

Kosovo is recognised by at least 80 countries, including the United States and 22 EU members.