In the dialogue with Pristina, Belgrade was brought to a situation to say “no” to one thing, in order to be blamed for everything, PM Aleksandar Vucic has said.
“Pristina is engaged in the dirties propaganda. My message to Serbs is this: don’t fall for provocations, peace is our interest,” Vucic said during a break in a meeting held in Raska on Thursday afternoon with representatives of Serbs from Kosovo.
According to him, Pristina’s representatives “constantly changed their proposals during difficult conversations” in Brussels on Wednesday.
According to him, this happened “four times in one hour – somebody constantly changed their proposals, only to change them again after we accepted.”
The prime minister reiterated that the agreement on Kosovska Mitrovica was among the four agreements that had been reached in the past, and added:
“We committed many compromises in order to preserve peace for the whole Serbia and its citizens, as well as citizens in Kosovo. On December 8 an agreement was reached about the bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica itself, in the meanwhile – the Pristina delegation said they were not authorized to reach that agreement and withdrew from it. Not even the Kosovo laws according to which that supporting wall (near the bridge) was within the jurisdiction of the local government is valid, according to them.”
The Serbian delegation in Brussels accepted everything that was proposed, but we were brought into a situation where if we do not accept something we would be blamed for everything, Vucic said and added that there was “a myriad of evidence, witnesses, and notes for that,” the Serbian government quoted him as saying.
He also remarked that “representatives of the Serbian delegation could not even talk about the Community of Serb Municipalities.”
“It’s important to preserve peace and we will do it,” Vucic repeated, and reiterated that the talks on Wednesday in Brussels were difficult – “they were saying all day that somebody endangers them, the Serbian police and army, and where are those?”
“Somebody has a guilty conscience but is accusing us of propaganda,” Vucic remarked, calling on Serbs from Kosovo “to remain calm and not leave their homes” – while “we will fight using truth and justice.”
The prime minister also said he was against the proposal of northern Kosovska Mitrovica Mayor Goran Rakic, who spoke in favor of Serbs leaving all Kosovo institutions.
Responding to reporters’ questions, Vucic blasted unnamed “foreign ambassadors” for meddling in the country’s internal affairs, saying that they will not be deciding “where and how our army units will be deployed.”
“Let them decide about that in their own country, and forget about it in Serbia, even if I pay for it with my head, politically with my head, even if I’m gone, they won’t be doing that in Serbia, here, I’ll telling them now. I’ll teach them all a lesson, so they know what their powers are,” said the prime minister.
When asked which ambassadors he was talking about, Vucic declined to say, but noted that he “never in his life saw someone behave like that.”
“Who are you to determine whether we’ll have someone in Kragujevac or in Kraljevo. What gives you the right? What are you, who are you to be deciding about that in Serbia. They say, ‘it’s a threat’. That’s a threat? If that’s a threat, let’s put all (army and police units) on Ada Ciganlija (a river island in Belgrade) so that you’re satisfied,” he continued, and then added:
“Don’t worry, I’ve told them everything to their faces, I hide nothing. I’ve told them to their faces what I think about their policy and their insolent behavior toward Serbia. I have no problem saying it in this way.”
“People would not believe,” he remarked, “what kind of things I’ve been listening to, while working all the time to calm people in the north (of Kosovo) down.”
Vucic on Thursday also urged EU foreign policy and security chief Federica Mogherini and her team to react to Pristina’s conduct, noting the EU had clearly said it would react if someone violated the agreement reached in Brussels late Wednesday.
“I want her to make it clear that the (Kosovo) Albanian side did that – anything else would mean dodging responsibility”, Vucic told reporters.
Mayor Goran Rakic said that the European Union clearly and openly sided with the Kosovo Albanian community, warning that Serbs in Kosovo are concerned about their families and their lives.
He appealed to the prime minister to protect them because the people are “in a hopeless situation.”
The meeting, held at the Stefan Nemanja barracks in Raska, was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic, Minister of Defense Zoran Djordjevic and Chief of General Staff General Ljubisa Dikovic./IBNA