Serbia’s president said on Friday the country will downgrade, but not break, diplomatic relations with any government that recognises an independent Kosovo.
“Bilateral ties (with countries that recognise Kosovo) most certainly would not be of the quality and level they are today,” Boris Tadic said. “But, if Serbia decides to withdraw its ambassadors, it does not mean it would stop communicating with those countries or cut ties with those countries.”
It was the first time that one of Serbia’s top leaders has stated categorically that Belgrade would retaliate against foreign governments that recognise Kosovo as a new nation.
Also on Friday, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica lashed out at Western nations that have backed Kosovo’s independence bid, saying they were demanding that Serbia agree to “slave-like” status.
The increasingly heated rhetoric by Serbia’s leaders in recent days appeared designed to increase pressure on foreign governments to deny recognition for Kosovo’s independence proclamation which is expected within days. (AP)
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