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Wrong Move?

DW staff (ncy)
May 6, 2008

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in an interview that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence was a mistake as was the EU's recognition of it.

A Kosovar man drives a horse cart past graffiti drawn on a wall in eastern Kosovo town of Gnjilane on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008.
Independence and recognition came too early, Schroeder saidImage: AP

In an interview with Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on Monday, May 5, Schroeder said the declaration had come too early and was thus wrong.

It had created new problems without solving old ones, he said.

The European Union had succumbed to pressure from the United States on the Kosovo issue. While recognizing Kosovo may benefit US interests, Schroeder said, it was definitely not in Europe's interests.

Pro-Europeans weakened

Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder walks in Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom headquarters in Moscow, Thursday, March 30, 2006.
Schroeder is chair of Nord Steam, which is owned to 51 percent by Russia's GazpromImage: AP

The conflict surrounding Kosovo could not be resolved by excluding pro-European supporters in Serbian President Boris Tadic's circle, the former chancellor said. Pro-Europeans in Serbia had been weakened by Kosovo's declaration of independence, he added.

Serbia should be accepted into the EU in the foreseeable future, Schroeder said.

Serbia considers Kosovo its province and said the declaration of independence on Feb. 7 was illegal.

Schroeder is chairman of the Russo-German pipeline consortium Nord Stream.