Tolkach: The Government and the President of Ukraine remain steadfast in their stance of not recognizing Kosovo

Volodimir Tolkač
Source: Printscreen

Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia, Volodymyr Tolkach, reiterated today that his country would remain consistent in its stance of not recognizing Kosovo, RTV reported.

Tolkach stated in an interview with Tanjug that Ukraine had maintained this position since the beginning of the crisis. He recalled that the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had attempted to resolve the conflict in 1999, visiting Belgrade at a crucial moment and seeking a compromise to halt the bombing of Serbia.

"Our soldiers, a Ukrainian battalion, participated in the mission in Kosovo and defended the Slavic region, Strpce, Gnjilane, for over 10 years. It was really not an easy time. I would also like to give you some information; please compare this: Russian troops were transferred from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Kosovo. After a few years, they returned to Russia. We were there from 1999 until the beginning of the Russian aggression against our country, and unfortunately, we had to end our mission in Kosovo in the fall of 2022," Tolkach said.

He also emphasized that Ukraine was striving to remain stable, but sometimes it was very difficult to explain to the people of Ukraine why Serbia was trying to balance between Russia and the European Union.

"The Kosovo regime fully supports Ukrainian independence. Sometimes it is very difficult for our politicians to explain that to our people. But I can say that our government and our president are steadfast in their stance that we will not recognize Kosovo," Tolkach concluded.

Asked about Serbia's position on the war in Ukraine, Tolkach said that Serbia had its traditional position in the world and had been trying to balance, not only in the last two years but for the past 100 years, between the Western and Eastern parts of the world.

He emphasizes that Ukraine greatly appreciates Serbia for supporting it in multilateral formats.

"Serbia has voted against war and Russian aggression since 2022. And I repeat, we greatly appreciate that. Yes, we would like to see Serbia as a country trying to integrate into Europe, as our allies, like all other countries of the European Union and the region. And we would greatly appreciate that, for Serbia's sake," Tolkach said.

Upon the statement that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had spoken at least twice, that President Vucic's wife, Tamara Vucic, visited Kyiv, and that Zelenskyy, after a meeting in Athens, said that he had had a good conversation with President Vucic about respecting the UN Charter and the inviolability of borders, Tolkachh says that Kyiv receives those messages with satisfaction and believes that they are on the right path and that the common path of the two countries is towards Europe.

"I would be glad if the dialogue between our presidents continues, primarily because they understand each other better than our diplomats and ambassadors do. So, you can be sure that we will do our best to continue this dialogue, and we hope for the reopening of your embassy in Ukraine, and the advancement of our economic cooperation, because our nations are very close to each other, we are Slavic countries and should be together," Tolkach said.