The Head of the Kosovo Office, Marko Djuric told the Russian MFA Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, that he will not allow her “to attack proud Serbia”. „Shame on you“ – he told her after she criticised the sitting position of Aleksandar Vucic in a sole chair before Donald Trump recently suggesting him to rather choose the iconic scene of Sharon Stone in the movie Basic Instinct.
„If you were invited to the White House, and the chair was set up in a way as if they were interrogating you, you are sitting as presented in the second image, whoever you are. Trust me on this,“ reads Zakharova’s reaction to the manner in which Aleksandar Vucic and Avdullah Hoti sat in front of Donald Trump on two identical, but separate, occasions in the Oval Office on Friday.
In the now-viral photos published by the American administration, boasting of double diplomatic success, Vucic and Hoti can be seen sitting in the middle of the Oval Office on two separate occasions, on a chair placed opposite the office table where Trump was sitting.
The photos showed the moment when the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu was told the happy news for this country and the United States, which is in the middle of a pre-election campaign. Kosovo will be „the first Muslim country in the world“ to recognize Israel and open an embassy in Jerusalem, Trump boasted, while Serbia will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by July and will be the „first European country“ to do so.
Если Вас позвали в БД, а стул поставили так, будто Вы на допросе, садитесь как на фото #2. Кем бы Вы ни были. Просто поверьте.
Zakharova posted the photo showing Vucic sitting on a chair across from Trump’s office table in the Oval Office on her Facebook page, but another photo as well – a scene from the thriller “Basic Instinct” starring Sharon Stone, who is being questioned by the police as she sits cross-legged in a chair. Zakharova used this photo to show how the Serbian president had to sit in such situations, just like anyone else who finds himself in similar situations.
The head of the Kosovo Office and a high-ranking SNS official immediately reacted, revealing that the president of Serbia, when he visits Russia, waits for over an hour and a half to be received by his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
„This president did not say a single bad word against Russia, not even in that place. That president waited for an hour and a half to be received by the Russian president and never asked for a special chair. I will not allow you to attack proud Serbia. Shame on you!” – Djuric jumped to the Serbian president’s defense on Twitter.
Both posts garnered numerous likes, on Facebook alone, Maria Zakharova’s post received almost five thousand likes and hundreds of comments of support.
Even before Marko Djuric’s defense of the president, Vucic himself explained the sitting protocol with Donald Trump to a famous Serbian TV Pink based, Goca Uzelac:
„When I was alone, I sat across from Trump. First across from Trump, I was sitting in a chair, and he was in a slightly raised armchair. What is the problem here? I’ve never talked to anyone in my life without sitting across from them.”
He explained what the seating arrangement in diplomacy indicates, since the time of the ancient Byzantines, and what the Russians, Turks, and Americans learned later:
„How do they show their power over the rest of the world? It used to be done with the sounds of lions roaring, and today it is done by placing someone three steps higher, which is common for great powers.“
The president also explained that he was in a better position because he was sitting to Trump’s right side, while Hoti was sitting to his left, adding that this is not particularly important.
А замисли тај председник ниједну ружну реч против Русије није рекао, чак ни на том месту. А замисли тај председник је код руског председника и по сат и по времена чекао на пријем и никада није тражио посебну столицу. Ја Вам не дозвољавам да нападате поносну Србију. Срам Вас било! pic.twitter.com/yCdQDhxWIF
— Марко Ђурић (@markodjuric) September 5, 2020
The meeting whose seating arrangements were ridiculed by Zaharova followed the signing of the document on economic normalization by President Vucic and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti.
One of the points of that document, signed in the presence of the US president, Donald Trump, reads – Both sides will diversify their energy supply.
Part of the Serbian public interpreted this point as a threat to Russian interests in Serbia. These allegations were soon denied by the Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic.
„Nothing is clearly defined in the agreement, we open a door for even more strategic cooperation with the United States, and it does not compromise our cooperation with China or the Russian Federation… The agreement opens one door, but it does not close the others,“ she said.
Last week, a group of young people from Kosovo visited Belgrade where they were received by President Vucic, who spoke about Putin’s announced visit „most likely in October“ when he will attend the opening of the Temple of Saint Sava in Vracar.
The President promised the youth from Kosovo that they would be invited to the capital on that occasion as well.
„I will ask President Putin to greet you so that you can tell him – at least in one word – what is troubling you in Kosovo,“ he said.
An online argument between Grenell and Vjosa Osmani
Along with Zakharova and Djuric, Richard Grenell and Vjosa Osmani also had a heated online argument on Saturday.
„You can’t pay your rent or feed your family with symbolism,“ US Special Envoy Richard Grenell tweeted to Kosovo Assembly Speaker, Vjosa Osmani, who previously commented that the Kosovo delegation did not return from Washington with mutual recognition with Serbia – as it was promised.
„For you to complain now that you didn’t get more is odd since you didn’t raise a single concern or give a single idea to me. We need politicians who do more than just complain,“ Grenell said, to which Osmani responded: „Recognition of Kosovo by Serbia is NOT symbolism. It is recognizing a reality which the US was among the first to do. Calling our statehood, which is a joint project between the people of Kosovo and the US a ‘symbolism’ minimizes the decade long U.S. bipartisan investment in Kosovo.“
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