PRISTINA (Reuters) – Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti accused the European Union mediator on Monday of siding with Serbia days after talks collapsed in Brussels with the EU blaming what it called Pristina’s unwillingness to honour its commitment to a deal.

Kurti said EU envoy Miroslav Lajcak was coordinating with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to pressure him to implement only one part of the deal signed early this year that could pave the way to normalisation between the two traditional foes.

“On September 14 there was a clear positioning of the mediator against Kosovo…They have gone a long way in attacking the future of Kosovo,” Kurti told a press briefing in Pristina.

Kurti and Vucic met last Thursday for more talks in Brussels but they went nowhere, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. He said Kurti was “not ready to move forward” with setting up an association of Serb-majority municipalities giving Serbs more autonomy in Kosovo’s north, a goal approved by Pristina a decade ago under an EU-sponsored dialogue with Belgrade.

It was mean to settle a conflict dating to the 1998-99 uprising by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority against repressive Serbian rule and lead to normalised relations between Belgrade and its former province, which declared independence in 2008.

“We will either implement the whole deal entirely or we will not implement only what Serbia wants. This logic is dead,” Kurti said. There was no immediate reaction from Lajcak or the EU.

Ethnic Albanians form more than 90% of the population in Kosovo, with Serbs the majority only in its northern region where the self-governing municipalities group is envisaged.

Kurti has said such an association as approved by previous governments would divide Kosovo along ethnic lines. Instead, he has agreed only to an association with limited powers whose decisions could be overruled by the central Pristina government.

Serbs in the north clashed with NATO peacekeepers in May in protest at the imposition of several ethnic Albanian mayoralties after a Serb boycott of local elections organised by Pristina.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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