The draft law on the protection of „KLA“ values „is terrible news“ and „a clear message that Pristina does not want Serbs in Kosovo“, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic said in Belgrade today on the day of the first reading of this draft law in the Kosovo Assembly. According to the president, Srpska Lista will have to “strongly oppose it.” Speaking about the continuation of the Brussels dialogue in September, he also underlined that he would ask that „fundamental issues“ are discussed, such as the formation of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities (ASM). „Concrete moves – not just paper,“ the president said.
„Passing such laws is a clear message that you do not want Serbs in Kosovo. It is a clear message to Serbs. I believed that US Ambassador Kosnett realized that,“ Vucic said today, recalling Philip Kosnett’s statement that such a law „criminalizes free speech“ and „intimidates citizens.“
The president recalled the case of the then Kosovo Minister of Administration and Local Self-Government and a current member of the Kosovo Assembly, Ivan Todosijevic, who was illegally sentenced to two years in prison for saying that Racak was a „fabricated massacre“ and that Albanians are „terrorists“.
That is why such a law will only increase the pressure on Todosijevic – Vucic claimed.
„If the point is that no one in the region can think for themselves, that the Serbs cannot think for themselves, but must agree with what is being said in Zagreb, so that we all go there to celebrate the ‘Storm’ operation, so that we all fall in line with the truth that Sarajevo will impose on us, or with Pristina’s stance on the 1999 conflict, then it no longer makes any sense,“ he argued.
Vucic stressed that Srpska Lista will have to take certain measures regarding this draft law.
„I believe that you will hear about this today from the head of the Kosovo Office, Marko Djuric. Srpska Lista will have to strongly oppose the draft law, and that is not all.“
The President revealed that he will also wait for the reaction from Brussels. Furthermore, he requested that the mediator in the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina, Miroslav Lajcak take account of this issue.
I will raise the topic of the formation of the ASM on September 7th in Brussels
Speaking about the recently re-launched Brussels dialogue, Vucic said that Serbia wanted the talks to be substantial and not simply formal.
“For the talks to solve issues – and not for someone to wait for a certain time to pass in order to deliver a request that we would have to accept or reject just to be stigmatized by the European Union and the international community,“ Vucic said.
When asked about what measures the West could take against Serbia if it does not accept their directives and blackmail regarding the issue of Kosovo, as well as about the situation in Croatia and the Serbian state budget, the president failed to provide an answer to the question about Kosovo.
„Serbia is a small country among great powers… everyone wants for the Kosovo issue to be resolved with Kosovo’s recognition, saying there is no other solution,“ Vucic explained, adding that he thus expects the citizens of Serbia to „understand how difficult the position we are in is and to try to present a united front because that way we will be able to save our country and pave the way for greater success.“
Commenting on Matthew Palmer’s recent statement that the dialogue in Brussels should lead to mutual recognition, Vucic said that „the United States has never kept that secret.“
„They will not withdraw the recognition of Kosovo, Germany will not withdraw the recognition of Kosovo, they will look for a way for Serbia to accept that,“ the president said.
„No talks about fundamental issues, they just want to present some piece of paper“
„I am worried that fundamental issues are not being discussed. They just want to present some piece of paper,“ the president shared his concerns with the public.
He announced that he would ask for the formation of the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities on September 7th in Brussels – when the dialogue will continue at a political level.
„Let’s see a concrete move, not just paper. When we see that, then we’ll see what we will do next.“
He said that Serbia will not quit the EU-mediated dialogue.
“We want a true dialogue, not just them saying that we have to recognize them.”
Because the fact that they will recognize us doesn’t interest us too much. To be honest… it doesn’t make much sense – Vucic added.
He emphasized that he said so to both US and European officials – Grenell, Lajcak, Palmer.
“Yet, I understand them, that is the policy of their countries,” Vucic said.
The goods cannot have a „Republic of Kosovo“ label, in that case, goods from Serbia should only have a „Serbia“ label
At today’s conference, Vucic also said that Belgrade’s proposal to ensure the free flow of goods between Kosovo and central Serbia is for the goods to bear the same designations of origin.
He also revealed that Pristina raised the issue of „reciprocity“ in trade relations in Brussels, to which Belgrade said „no problem“.
„The fact that we do not allow goods to have ‘Republic of Kosovo’ labels – that will not change, because it is a status-neutral dialogue. But no problem, let our goods have ‘Serbia’ labels, it does not have to say ‘Republic of Serbia’ when we trade goods with you,“ said Vucic.
He, however, added that the Pristina delegation refused to discuss it.
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