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Serb leader irked by Kosovo talks

July 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

BELGRADE, Serbia, July 29 (UPI) -- Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic told a British newspaper Serbs living in Kosovo were under the threat of being driven out of the former province.

The Guardian said Nikolic signaled he could take a tougher stand in the European Union-brokered negotiations on the future of Kosovo, the independence of which Serbia has not recognized.

Nikolic told the newspaper the "negotiations" had thus far been nothing but Serbian concessions to Pristina. He added that attempts by the EU to put the Pristina government on top in Kosovo would lead to a mass exodus of ethnic Serbs, which he defined as a form of genocide.

"What if the Serbs move out," said Nikolic. "Who will accept the results of such genocide?"

Nikolic added the presence of NATO troops in Kosovo had been the primary deterrent to oppression of Serbs by the ethnic Albanian military.

Nikolic is a former ultra-nationalist who was elected in May while running on a more-moderate platform. His election and the appointment of another hardcore nationalist as prime minister has raised concerns among analysts that the militant nationalism seen in the 1990s was on the rebound, The Guardian said.

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