Vucic: Albanians are not ready to compromise

Serbia is ready for talks and compromises. If Pristina believes that “someone’s bludgeon will create a state for them, and that Serbs will agree to that, I’m afraid it will be like counting chicks before they are hatched,” the Serbian president said last night after meeting with the EU envoy for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak.

Read what the EU envoy had to say in a separate article: Lajcak from Belgrade: The status quo is not sustainable for either side

Following yesterday’s meeting with Miroslav Lajcak, the President of Serbia said that he was informed about the most important parts of the talks Lajcak undertook during his visit to Pristina.

Belgrade is ready to continue the dialogue process whenever Brussels hands over the invitation to do so. It is ready to reach a compromise solution, which would mean partial satisfaction for both sides, without ultimatums and imposed solutions, Vucic said.

„Serbia is participating in the talks in the hope and good faith that there is understanding for its national interests – and not only the interests of Albanians,“ the Serbian president said.

In his words, regardless of the statements coming from Pristina – „which are not encouraging“, Serbia’s duty is to be committed and serious – as there will be no progress in EU integration if there is no serious progress in the dialogue with Pristina.

According to Vucic, Serbia is not setting any deadlines to conclude an agreement because the most important thing is to reach an agreement „everyone will be equally satisfied with, instead of causing a catastrophe with hasty solutions.“

Serbia will insist on the implementation of everything that was signed in Brussels, including the agreement on the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities (ASM) – he added.

Speaking of Serbia’s obligations, Vucic said:

„I want to underline that Serbia has fulfilled all its obligations and I have said this countless times to the representatives of the Pristina side and all the people in Brussels.“

“Serbia will not recognize Kosovo”

Vucic also commented on the statements of Pristina officials who met with Lajcak in the past few days – that Pristina is entering the dialogue to obtain mutual recognition, without compromise and border changes. These are always the same stories, insults, and unfounded plans, he said.

„If someone believes that someone can take the hammer and hit Serbia on the head and say ‘you must now recognize an independent Kosovo’ – that will not happen. As you can see, I say this everywhere. On the other hand, it is obvious that there are great expectations in Pristina and the new US administration. They think that it is possible to put pressure on our country in such a way and that everything will happen in such a way so that Albanians will not make any compromise, and Serbs will give them everything they want because Serbs must do so under such and so much pressure. That will not happen and I do not have to swear, shout, it is enough to just say this and that is all,“ the president stressed.

He added, however, that Serbia is ready for talks and compromises. 

If they think that someone’s bludgeon will create a state for them and that the Serbs will agree to that, I am afraid it will be like counting chicks before they are hatched

According to Vucic, recognition of Kosovo is not a compromise – as the Pristina side expects it to be.

„I think that when you talk and represent some peoples and work on reaching a compromise solution, you cannot constantly set new borders, and if you say that a compromise solution is the recognition of Kosovo, then tell me what is the compromise? I would just like to know how it is a compromise. Although someone tells you – the borders are such as we set them, and we only want mutual recognition, I do not see any desire or will to compromise,“ the president said.

He stressed that Pristina is revealing its desire for “mutual recognition” on a daily basis. This idea was conceived by the United States – Vucic added, recalling that such a request was also presented in the congratulatory letter the US president, Joseph Biden sent on the occasion of Statehood Day of Serbia.

„They (Pristina) repeated ‘mutual recognition, mutual recognition’ like they were parrots, no matter how stupid it may sound to every person in Belgrade and Novi Sad or Nis. It is as if we need mutual recognition and as if we do not exist as a state without them. In the congratulatory letter of the US president, I found the same phrase that all Albanian politicians repeat like parrots – mutual recognition,“ the president explained.

Mr. Lajcak is my witness, I think I interrupted the Albanian representatives in Brussels about ten times, almost on the verge of an incident and everything else, because of that parrot-like reiteration of ‘mutual recognition’

He then once again concluded that Belgrade’s position is difficult, while also alerting of „serious pressures“ in the future. 

Although Serbia will participate in the dialogue and strive for compromise, it still has its national and state interests.

Speaking of the cooperation between the EU and the United States regarding the Brussels dialogue, the president predicted that the United States will leave the dialogue to the EU, but that they will monitor the process.

„Of course, they are people who created their child, made a cradle for their Pristina child, rocking him, a child which grew up to become a teenager, but they are still rocking him, nothing is disputable and new for us, but the situation is all the more difficult for us,“ the president said.

Vucic revealed that this is the reason why the talks in Brussels are not easy for him, adding: „You do not choose people in politics to call a plumber to solve your problem in the bathroom, but you choose people who can make more difficult decisions.“

The continuation of the dialogue in April or May – depending on Pristina

Although claiming that Pristina is not ready for a compromise or an agreement, the Serbian President noted that it is “ready for dialogue and to talk.” 

“I hope that it will lead to some results, it is already a step forward and it is not a small job that Mr. Lajcak has completed.“

Finally, he expressed the expectation that the continuation of the dialogue could start in April or May, noting that everything depends on when Pristina will form a new government.

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