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Serbian president hints at rejection of EU-backed plan for Kosovo

Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic speaks during a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, April 1, 2013. Nikolic said: "What Pristina wants, and that is independence, will never be possible without Serbia" and "There will never again be a military solution for the problems in the Balkans." Serbia has until now insisted on a high level of self-rule for the Kosovo Serbs, including their own police, judicial authorities and self-government. But this has been rejected by Kosovo Albanians as a de-facto partition of Kosovo, which enjoys the backing of the United States and most European Union countries. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Serbia's President Tomislav Nikolic speaks during a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, April 1, 2013. Nikolic said: "What Pristina wants, and that is independence, will never be possible without Serbia" and "There will never again be a military solution for the problems in the Balkans." Serbia has until now insisted on a high level of self-rule for the Kosovo Serbs, including their own police, judicial authorities and self-government. But this has been rejected by Kosovo Albanians as a de-facto partition of Kosovo, which enjoys the backing of the United States and most European Union countries. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)  (The Associated Press)

Serbia's president has hinted the country's leadership will reject an EU-mediated plan for Kosovo that would pave the way for Serbia's eventual membership in the bloc.

The EU has given Serbia until Tuesday to say whether it would relinquish control of northern Kosovo — one of the most contentious issues dividing the former Serbian province — in exchange for the start of Serbia's EU membership negotiations.

Talks between Serbian and Kosovo Albanian officials on the issue broke down last week in Brussels, and Serbian leaders have since been debating whether to accept or reject the deal, which Serbian nationalist President Tomislav Nikolic described Sunday as unfair.

Nikolic says the EU-backed proposal "was not an offer, but an ultimatum."

Serbia does not recognize Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence.