By JOVANA GEC, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 26 minutes ago
BELGRADE, Serbia - Serbia's prime minister dissolved the government Saturday and called for new elections after clashing with his pro-Western coalition partners over Kosovo and EU membership.
Vojislav Kostunica said that he will convene a government session Monday that will propose to parliament that new elections be held May 11.
He accused pro-Western ministers of failing to support his efforts to preserve Kosovo as part of Serbia.
"There was no united will to clearly and loudly state that Serbia can continue its path toward the EU only with Kosovo," Kostunica said.
The new elections could determine whether Serbia continues toward the EU or takes a more isolationist approach reminiscent of Yugoslavia in the 1990s under the late strongman Slobodan Milosevic.
"The government will function in a reduced capacity until the elections are held," Kostunica said.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17. The predominantly ethnic Albanian province had been under U.N. control since 1999, when NATO launched an air war to stop a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists.
But Serbia, which considers the territory its historic and religious heartland, has rejected Kosovo's move as illegal under international law.
Kostunica insists that EU governments that recognized Kosovo must rescind their decisions before Serbia resumes pre-membership talks with the 27-nation bloc.
Kostunica criticized the EU for "giving the green light to its member states" to recognize Kosovo's secession and for sending a mission to Kosovo without Serbia's consent.
Pro-Western President Boris Tadic opposes tying Serbia's EU membership to the issue of Kosovo, which has been recognized as an independent state by several leading EU nations, including Britain, France and Germany.
Associated Press Writer Dusan Stojanovic contributed to this report.