Vucic: Serbia is paying high price for not imposing sanctions against Russia
Vucic says that he had difficult conversations with US senators, with whom he met a few days ago
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic stressed today that Belgrade hopes to continue the high level dialogue, but that he is very worried about all kinds of threats coming from Pristina.
In a statement to the press, Vucic said that he told the EU envoy for dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Miroslav Lajcak, with whom he met yesterday, that he was worried about the threats, disrespect of the Brussels agreement, i.e., the lack of desire to fulfill what has been agreed, but also because of the taking over of power plants, and the violent behavior in connection with license plates.
"My plea to Pristina and the EU is to take into account those who talk about being endangered every day, while the only thing they aim to do is to attack Serbs, put additional pressure on Serbs, and carry out further actions, especially in northern Kosovo. We ask them not to do that. That is important for the stability of the region, for all our people, both Serbs and Albanians, to preserve peace," he stressed.
Vucic: Serbia has a place in the EU, but let's guard what's ours
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic stated today that Serbia has a place in the European Union, and that our country should continue its European path and fight with dignity for the path to Europe, but at the same time guard what's ours.
"To guard our own, autonomy and independence in decision-making, at least until we become a member of the EU. Because, when you are a member of the club, then everything is different, but even then no one takes away your voice, brain or tongue," Vucic said answering questions from journalists, who wanted him to comment on the decline of the popularity of the EU in Serbia.
Vucic also said that it is important for Serbia to be on the European path because of the values we strive towards, because of economic progress, but also because someone would have to say - where else does Serbia belong, if not to that society.
Vucic also said that he sometimes understand the anger of citizens, and that some (EU) member states should take care and show more respect for our country and citizens, because our citizens want Serbia to be allowed to have its own voice, opinion, for which Serbia has its own reasons.
The president pointed out that on the issue of the Ukrainian crisis, Serbia's position is clear - we act unequivocally in a principled manner, support international public law, do not contribute to further development of the conflict, do not send weapons to either side, punish all those participating in volunteer units on both sides.
"Serbia responsibly and in a dedicated way stands for peace, which cannot be said for everyone else," said Vucic.
Many, he said, have no understanding for Serbia, because 1999 (NATO bombing of the country) means nothing to them.
"They cannot and will not understand Serbia's position in the UN, where we have always had the support of Russia in the Security Council, and not of those countries that would today like to force us into a policy of sanctions," the Serbian president said.
Our position, he said, is much more complex and difficult:
"Those who wants to - will understand, those who don't want to - will not," said Vucic.
He added that he is grateful to the leaders of the European Union for their understanding shown toward Serbia, because they derogated from a part of the sanctions against third countries and enabled us to import oil via JANAF.
He added, however, that the blame for the decline in support for Serbia's European path among the citizens is also on "our side", due to insufficient determination and not always sending clear messages.
"We can criticize someone, but we must make it clear what our strategic path is," said Vucic.
He added that one of the reasons is that people in Serbia often hear words from the EU that mean pressure around Kosovo, or around imposing of sanctions against Russia.
"A significant portion of the population is against that, 76 percent are against sanctions, and 13 percent are in favor. And when you put all that together, then it is relatively easy to explain why the popularity of the EU is declining," said Vucic.
Vucic: Serbia is paying high price for not imposing sanctions against Russia
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic pointed out today that Serbia is paying a high price for its policy regarding sanctions against Russia, and emphasized that Serbia will continue to adhere to the principles that others do not adhere to.
"Sometimes it would be good in politics, especially in international politics, and it would be best to always do that, to respect principles, ethics and international law, the way Serbia behaves," he said.
When asked about Serbia's stance towards the Ukrainian crisis and the price paid by Serbia, i.e., some media reports that Serbia is preparing to impose sanctions against Russia, he said that he does not want to comment on newspaper articles.
"Sometimes a person can get desperate when looking at newspapers of different sides, where you see complete bias, fan fervor, on the one hand towards the Russian side, and on the other the anti-Russian fervor. When you read, you wonder if it's possible for people who live in Serbia to have something that is more important, and that is the position and interests of Serbia," he stressed.
Vucic said that he is proud of the fact that there is no anti-Ukrainian or anti-Russian hysteria in Serbia, that we do not allow anyone to destroy the monument to Ukrainian poet Taras Sevchenko in Novi Sad, which some have tried to do, but also the works of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol.
"Those are things I'm proud of. Ukrainians and Russians come here. It is very strange that a good part of those who come from Moscow are oriented against Vladimir Putin, and a good part of those who come from Ukraine are against their leadership. That's irrelevant to us, what matters is to be good hosts and provide everything as required by international acts," he added.
Vucic also noted that there are many in Serbia who know everything better than the state leadership - including when and whether we will impose sanctions.
He recalled that some candidates in the last elections said that sanctions against Russia would be introduced on April 4, immediately after the elections.
"I don't remember anyone imposing sanctions. They lied for the umpteenth time. But some people couldn't care less about deceiving the public, becase there are no repercussions, and there should be," he said.
Vucic pointed out that Serbia is the only country in Europe that has not introduced any restrictive measures against Russia.
"Does such a stance bring us problems? There is no doubt, and there are many problems in various spheres from financial investments to many others. There is no doubt that we are paying a very high price," he stressed.
Vucic: Not an easy conversation with senators, he reiterated Serbia's position
President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic stated today that he had difficult talks with US senators, with whom he met a few days ago, and that he reiterated the position of our country on the issue of the Ukrainian crisis, presented in the conclusions of the Council for National Security.
"It seems to me that we have raised important topics regarding bilateral relations through the talks with the senators. We had a good conversation that deepens our cooperation," Vucic told reporters, after he presented a decoration to President of Eurojust Ladislav Harman.
He conveyed that he spoke with the senators about the topics that are neither easy nor simple for us - about Ukraine, the West's attitude towards Russia, Serbia's positioning.
"I reiterated the positions of Serbia from the conclusions of the Council for National Security, which were adopted by the government," said Vucic.
He expressed confidence that Serbia will continue further cooperation on all key issues and further improve relations with the United States.
Video: Dacic talks about the slogan of his campaign, Ivica Dacic - Prime Minister, and about agreements with Aleksandar Vucic
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