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    Kosovo to Remain Autonomous Region of Serbia After EU Deal

    © Sputnik / Natalya Grebenyuk
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    The signing of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Kosovo does not mean all EU states recognize the autonomous region as an independent state, Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija of the Serbian government told Sputnik on Tuesday.

    BELGRADE (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Kosovo signed the deal with the bloc, intending to bring economic development, living standards and a regulatory framework to the country in its aspirations to to join the bloc, in line with EU levels.

    "The fact that our southern autonomy started today a kind of contractual relationship with the European Commission does not and will never mean that our autonomy is another state or separated from Serbia," Marko Duric said.

    The European Union changed the procedure for signing the SAA with Kosovo compared to the same deal with other countries, which proved the self-proclaimed region was not an independent state, Duric added.

    Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, and has since been recognized by 108 UN member states. Belgrade, however, considers Kosovo to be part of Serbia. Dozens more countries, five EU member states and Russia, do not recognize Kosovo as an independent state.

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    Tags:
    association agreement, diplomatic relations, European Union, Europe, Kosovo, Serbia
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