Bildt: let Serbia join EU

The European Union should offer Serbia an opportunity to join the bloc if it accepts a UN plan on the future status of Kosovo, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has told an Austrian newspaper.

“If we signal a clear path into Europe, Serbia will be ready to live with the plan. And with time, it may also come to accept it,” Bildt said in an interview with the daily Die Presse published Monday.

“If we do not offer Serbia a European option, we run the risk of seeing the country sink back into nationalism. And Serbia could then block a solution for Kosovo,” he added.

The UN Special Envoy for Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari will hold talks with Serbian and Kosovar authorities in Vienna on Wednesday over plans for the future of the Serb province, which has been run by the UN since 1999.

Belgrade has rejected Ahtisaari’s plan, which calls for self-governance for Kosovo under international supervision. The ethnic Albanian dominated province’s leaders want full independence.

The proposal must still be submitted to the UN Security Council, possibly in mid-March according to Ahtisaari, before it can come into force.