„How come now the presence of the Serbian Armed Forces near the administrative line towards the province of Kosovo and Metohija bothers anyone, when we have 8,000 fewer members of the Serbian Armed Forces today than we had in December 2022, that is, in January 2023,“ the Serbian Minister of Defense announced today.
While wondering how there were no „attacks“ on Serbia and its army then, as they are being attacked now when accusations are being made both by Pristina and the international community, Miloš Vučević asked: what happened and what frightened representatives of the international community?
„And I repeat, no action of the Serbian Army since 1999 has led to the violation of the Military-Technical Agreement from Kumanovo, nor resolution 1244,“ said Vučević, emphasizing that cooperation with KFOR throughout the years has been and continues to be fruitful.
„Cooperation between the Ministry of Defense and KFOR is good and continuous. It runs in accordance with Resolution 1244 and in accordance with the military technical agreement from Kumanovo. It has existed for years, it is almost every day, from the level of the Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army, the KFOR commander, to the level of the commission for the military technical implementation of the Kumanovo agreement. That cooperation was based on mutual respect and was carried out correctly,“ said Vučević.
While noting that KFOR did not cross the territory of Serbia proper in the past years, he pointed out that, on the other hand, in accordance with Resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo Agreement, the Serbian Army has never crossed the administrative line without permission.
So far, it has never happened that the Armed Forces trampled on these documents in any way and disturbed communication with Kfor. The Serbian Army has never violated any agreement and this is not technical, but essential information.
However, he added that if the Serbian Armed Forces were to receive an order from the President of Serbia as commander-in-chief to enter the territory of the Republic of Kosovo, as part of the Republic of Serbia, „the Serbian Armed Forces would carry out such a task efficiently, professionally and successfully.“
„If the Serbian Army receives such an order from the President of the Republic of Serbia as the Supreme Commander, that its units enter the territory of Kosovo and Metohija as part of the Republic of Serbia, the Armed Forces will carry out such a task efficiently, professionally and successfully. And even in that case, they would have announced it beforehand to the KFOR command, they would not have done anything behind their backs“.
To date, he says, the Ministry has not had to make such a decision, and Serbia will do everything to prevent it from happening in the future and to preserve peace.
„That is why it is important that we continue the political dialogue, that UN Resolution 1244 is respected, that the Military-Technical Agreement from Kumanovo be implemented,“ the minister remarked.
Serbia believes that it is important that KFOR has significant a role in Kosovo, especially in the areas inhabited by the Serbian people, and that they have never opposed its presence.
„And we never objected to that. Serbs who live in the southern province have absolutely nothing against KFOR’s presence.“
After Pristina shared the latest alleged evidence about the alleged involvement of Serbia, including the Serbian Army, in the incident in Banjska on September 24th, Serbian officials addressed the public again today. First, the head of the Kosovo Office, Petar Petković, held a conference, followed by a joint conference with Minister of Defense Miloš Vučević and the Chief of the General Staff.
In the previous months and years, and particularly since Albin Kurti came to power in Kosovo, Serbia has warned the international public about „pressure and harassment and physical persecution of the Serbian people in Kosovo,“ Vučević said at the beginning of the conference.
He also alerted that there is now a systematic campaign against Serbia and its army.
In response to allegations from Pristina that the seized weapons were primarily of Serbian make, Vučević said:
„According to that logic, I have to ask everyone, first of all, Kurti and his co-perpetrators, what are we going to do about the Albanian police in Kosovo, or the so-called Kosovo police, using the same Serbian weapons?!“
He shared photos showing, as he claims, Kosovo policemen and special forces with M70 rifles, M72 machine guns and other weapons produced in Serbia, stressing that Serbia did not sell these automatic weapons to them.
„Does this follow the analogy that Serbia trained and armed the Albanian Kosovo police to shoot Serbs? I have more photos. Look at these special forces of theirs, with Serbian rifles, rifles produced in Serbia. We certainly did not sell this to them. So does it mean that we also trained and armed them?! It is logical that the Serbs have Serbian weapons, but where did the Albanians get the Serbian weapons?“ – asked Vučević.
Without going into the origin of the seized weapons that Pristina has shown so far, Vučević claims that the same weapons and military equipment can be found everywhere in the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
„And that it is complete nonsense to claim that this is proof that the State of Serbia, the Ministry of Defense, that the Serbian Army, as a serious institution, the guarantor of the sovereignty of our country, participated in what some have described as terrorist acts,“ he said.
„Terrorism is the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo of Serbs, that is terrorism. Daily arrests, shootings, detentions, harassment, searches of hospitals, kindergartens, schools, not allowing EULEX to participate in the activities for which they are authorized.“
Vučević reiterated that the recent vice-president of Srpska Lista, Milan Radoičić, whom Pristina labeled as the organizer of the conflict in Banjska, did not participate in the exercises on the Pasuljanske livade, where the Serbian Army often trains.
„The fact that someone releases thermal images from an obscure location, with completely unidentified people and faces, does not necessarily mean anything,“ he said.
Milan Radoičić did not participate in the military exercises in the Pasuljanske livade. Full stop
Speaking about the footage of the exercise with „Hummer“ vehicles, allegedly taken at Pasuljanske livade, the minister said that both the Serbian army and the Pristina „paratroops“ have „Hummers“, but that they use different machine guns.
According to him, there is no maneuver ammunition for Serbian 12.7 mm machine guns and it is not possible to perform maneuvers with them, while Pristina allegedly has a 7.62 mm machine gun on the same „Hummers“ for which there is maneuver ammunition.
So the question arises – whose vehicle was it?
The minister also showed photos of these hummers, but with different machine guns, one of which has maneuver ammunition and the other, as he claims, does not.
He repeated once again that these institutions do not do anything secretly and that they respect all agreements, but that they expect an answer to the question: what exactly happened on September 24th in Banjska?
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