May 7, 2022
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Vucic replaces theses and earns the approval of the West

Serbian President Complains of Pressure and Claims Russia

On the evening of May 6, the President of Serbia Alexander Vucic delivered a special address to the nation on key issues in the life of the country: from foreign policy and energy supply to the Kosovo problem and sanctions against Russia. From their leader, the Serbs heard about the lack of alternatives to EU membership, claims against the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin because of his mention of the Kosovo precedent and plans to conclude a new agreement with Gazprom for the supply of blue fuel.

Addressing his compatriots, the head of the Serbian state declared Belgrade’s European course unchanged, despite the record level of disapproval of the European integration prospects in the Serbian society. Vučić is sure that as president he should not be subject to public opinion, therefore Serbia will fight “for a place in the family of European peoples.” Membership in the EU is a strategic and uncontested path for Serbia, the head of state stressed, promising not to curtail cooperation with the East.

“We will continue to the EU, although it is unpopular in Serbia, according to the latest public opinion surveys, for the first time we have a majority of citizens against joining the EU. But our job is not to obey public opinion, we must hear it. Serbia will be stronger on the European path”, Vucic insists.

Militarily, Serbia will remain a neutral country, despite the fact that it is surrounded by NATO member countries, the president assured. And in order to strengthen the security of the state and the patriotic education of young people, he proposed the return of compulsory military service for a period of 90 days.

Vucic did not miss the opportunity to complain about the problems that the Balkan republic is experiencing due to its refusal to join the anti-Russian sanctions of the West. “Serbia is paying a high price for not imposing sanctions on Russia. We are neither part of the EU, nor have we imposed sanctions against Russia. We cannot appear on the financial market, we cannot take loans,” the Serbian President complained.

Touching upon the issue of energy security, he announced the start of negotiations with Gazprom on the issue of concluding a new agreement for the purchase of blue fuel to replace the old contract, which expires on May 31. Serbia is 100% dependent on Russian gas, and this situation, according to the head of state, will continue for at least another two years. At the same time, the Serbian leader announced the country’s readiness to diversify sources of energy supplies.

It was also announced a reduction in prices for gasoline and diesel fuel in Serbia. According to Vucic, he sent the corresponding demand to the Russian gas monopoly, which owns a controlling stake in the Serbian company Oil Industry of Serbia (NIS). In addition, the Serbian leader put an end to the discussion about the nationalization of NIS – it will not happen.

The most scandalous in the entire speech of the President of Serbia was the topic of Kosovo in connection with the reference of Russian President Vladimir Putin to this precedent in a recent conversation with the UN Secretary General António Guterres.

The head of the former Yugoslav republic actually accused the leader of the Russian Federation of the fact that his words about the recognition by the International Court of Justice of the right of the Kosovo Territory to independence worsened the position of Belgrade and brought enormous pressure on it from the West.

“Our situation has changed for the worse after the statement of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, not because he wanted to deliberately harm Serbia, but because he put the Kosovo issue in a different way, put it in defense of the interests of the Russians > The entire West will now require Serbia to immediately recognize Kosovo in order to prove to Putin that this is not the same thing and is not a precedent. We will be under incredible pressure now to prove that Kosovo is a different case.” Vucic said.

The claims of the Serbian president to Putin in connection with his statement on the Kosovo topic were sharply criticized by the professor of international law at the University of Kosovska Mitrovica Dejan Mirovich. In his opinion, Vučić’s “belated and tactless” attack on the head of the Russian Federation is explained by his recent visit to Germany, where the chancellor Olaf Scholz could well demand from the Serbian leader to join the anti-Russian sanctions.

“Now Vučić is replacing theses and building a quasi-legal construction, within which Putin, who in fact defends UNSCR 1244 and the territorial integrity of Serbia, acts as a person advocating for the early recognition of Kosovo’s independence. And that’s not it. Answering journalists’ questions, Vucic admitted that in five to ten years a “new Yalta” could take place, where Putin would actually trade Kosovo in order to negotiate with the West. This is a serious accusation worthy of the reaction of the Russian Foreign Ministry,” Mirovich commented.

Based on media materials

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