Selaković: Application of the so-called Kosovo for membership in the Council of Europe is contrary to the rules and norms of this organisation

20. May 2022.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia Nikola Selaković took part in the 132nd Council of Europe ministerial session in Turin today.

In his address, Minister Selaković highlighted that Serbia's foreign policy was based on respect for the principles of international law, territorial integrity, and political independence of countries, and that Serbia considered it very wrong to violate those principles in the case of any country, as well as in the case of Serbia. “Our position on these principles is very clear. Although it seems that some countries are guided by the principle Quod licet Iovi non licet bovi (What is permissible for Jupiter may not be permissible for a bull), Serbia remains committed to the fundamental principles of international law,” Minister Selaković noted.

Minister Selaković added that safeguarding those principles was more important today than ever and pointed out that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe often explicitly insisted on them in its decisions and declarations. “To review an application of the so-called Kosovo for membership in the Council of Europe, which is legally inadmissible, would bring into question the credibility of this organisation. I emphasise that this move by Priština is absolutely unacceptable for Serbia, and we will be compelled to respond to such gross violation of our territorial integrity with all diplomatic means available," he emphasised.

Minister Selaković stated that Serbia supported any engagement of the Council of Europe in Kosovo and Metohija aimed at improving standards in the field of human rights, rule of law and democracy in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and the Council of Europe's status-neutral approach. According to him, the authorities from Priština had not shown interest in meeting the obligations under the Brussels dialogue, especially as regards protecting the rights of the Serbs and other non-Albanian communities ― a matter that the UN Secretary General's reports on UNMIK have also been warning about.

“The application for membership is a political goal for Priština, not a value commitment, and it is an attempt to abuse the Council of Europe. It is in deep contrast with the norms and rules of this organisation, other international organisations and international law,” Minister Selaković argued. He emphasised that the application was another clear indication that Priština had no intention of reaching any solution through dialogue, and that Priština had again opted for a unilateral approach, as it had done many times before.

Minister Selaković noted that Serbia was committed to and promoting the principles and values ​​of the Council of Europe, also because it was an important segment of Serbia's path to EU membership to which it, too, was fully committed.

Minister Selaković concluded by saying that Serbia was closely following the implications of the tragedy in Ukraine, notably on the civilian population, and that it would continue to provide humanitarian aid and refuge to persons who enter the territory of Serbia.