Further to my goes-without-saying point about the tortured language necessary in the course of navigating the confines of the current “official” stage of what we all know is expected to be a full and complete capitulation by Serbia on recognizing Kosovo statehood. I suppose what differentiates this particular case of the West’s “I know we said/promised/signed that, but we lied” is that at least they’re admitting it ahead of time. That is, giving a heads-up that, yeah, we’re going to demand that too:

Recognition of Kosovo “could be condition” for Serbia (B92, Beta, Tanjug, Feb. 13)

Recognition of Kosovo could be a precondition for Serbia’s EU integration even though it has not been officially mentioned yet, a French official has said.

French National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Elisabeth Guigou said this after a meeting with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Suzana Grubješić on Wednesday.

Grubješić said that Serbia was not asked to recognize Kosovo in order to get a date for the beginning of the EU accession negotiations and that EU officials had reiterated it several times.

However, the deputy PM added that…[several EU states] thought that Serbia would have to recognize the “reality” in Kosovo or to actually recognize its independence before it joined the EU.

“Of course, our response is that there is no recognition of Kosovo…” she stressed.

Some members of the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs advocated Serbia’s EU membership.

According to the deputy PM, Serbia’s goal is not just to join the EU but to change and adjust to all standards and values of the Union. [God help us.]

“This is what we really advocate, what the previous Serbian government advocated and what the next government will advocate after us, because we want the European integration process to become irreversible,” Grubješić noted.

European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schultz said in early September that “mutual recognition of Belgrade and Priština” was a condition that the EP expected from Serbia in order to join the EU.

His statement was later denied by EU and Serbian officials. EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule stressed that the “normalization of relations” was a condition, not the recognition. [One is parsed language for the other.]

He added that the EU had no “other plans” [for the moment!] and that all the conditions were well-known and listed in the December conclusions. […]