Almost half of the population of Serbia
believe that President Aleksandar Vucic will recognize Kosovo’s independence,
according to the results of a poll presented at the Belgrade Security Forum.
The poll of 1,100 people across Serbia
conducted by the Centre for Social Dialogue and Regional Initiatives (CDDRI)
showed that 45 percent of the population could recognize Kosovo and that 75
percent of the polled think that recognition of Kosovo is an act of treason,
according to Kossev. Poll author Nikola Jovic said that almost 60 percent said
they have no idea about the president’s policy on Kosovo while 23 percent said
that he will recognize Kosovo in exchange for membership in the European Union
and 21 percent feel that he will recognize Kosovo if Serbia gets northern
Kosovo. A total of 65 percent of the polled said that recognition of Kosovo is
a condition set for EU membership and 71 percent said they would not support a
decision to recognize Kosovo in exchange for EU membership.
The poll showed that 36 percent of the
population would choose recognition in exchange for the four majority-Serb
municipalities of northern Kosovo, a Community of Serb Municipalities (CSM) in
the south and extraterritorial status for Serbian Orthodox Church monasteries.
A smaller percentage (32 percent) said they would support an agreement which
would not include recognition but would accept Kosovo’s membership in the UN in
exchange for the CSM while just 15 percent said they would support an exchange
of the four northern Kosovo municipalities for the southern Serbian municipalities
of Bujanoc and Presheva both of which have ethnic Albanian populations. Just 10 percent of the polled said they would
be indifferent to any decision to recognize Kosovo while the rest said they
would feel sad (23 percent), betrayed (17 percent), angry (13 percent) and
disappointed (12 percent) while 48 percent said they would blame Vucic and the
government, nine percent said they would blame the United States, eight percent
said they would blame the Serb people and foreigners in general (also eight percent).
A majority of the polled are pessimistic about future developments if Belgrade
and Pristina fail to reach an agreement within the next five years – 78 percent
fear massive violations of Kosovo Serb rights, 74 percent expect a rise of
nationalism on both sides and 72 percent said they expect a new conflict.