The EU’s involvement in Kosovo is having far-reaching political repercussions within Serbia’s governing coalition. This ahead of the country’s imminent presidential election, in which the pro-western incumbent Boris Tadic is hoping for re-election. Nationalist Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has refused to sign a Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SSA) with Brussels if it goes ahead with plans to deploy a security force in the breakaway province.
Analysts say this pits him directly against President Tadic’s Democratic Party, which could mean the end of the coalition.
The majority of Serbs see Kosovo as an historic part of their country and the issue will play a prominent part in the run-up to the election.
The European Commission has urged Serbia not to link its own closer ties with Brussels to the EU’s relationship with Pristina.