Vucic on negotiations: We must make it through the elephant fight unharmed

Foto: Tanjug, YouTube, caption

A fight between elephants – this is the phrase the Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic used today to describe the relations between Germany and the USA in connection with the upcoming Washington talks between Belgrade and Pristina. There is no accord between the United States and Europe, but Serbia is not the one that will reject anyone, Vucic stressed. “You can reject each other, but Serbia will talk to everyone,“ he also said.

EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina negotiations, Miroslav Lajcak has arrived in Pristina today, a day after his US counterpart, the US Special Envoy for Serbia-Kosovo peace talks, Richard Grenell announced that the Belgrade-Pristina talks will resume in Washington on June 27th.

Although there seems to be no coordination between the EU and the USA, Serbia is in contact with everyone, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic said in Cacak today.

When asked whether Serbia is in contact with Moscow, Washington and Brussels, the President underlined that he and Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic are in contact with everyone every day.

„We are not facing an easy period; Miro (Miroslav Lajcak) will be arriving first. I talked to him yesterday and Ana is most often in contact with Rick, with Grenell, but also with me from time to time. I talked to Putin on the phone yesterday. We had a long phone conversation. The day after the elections are over, Miro will come to Belgrade, the day after I am leaving for Moscow. Two days after that we must agree on which delegation will go to Moscow,“ Vucic said.

The Serbian President once again announced important gatherings about „which we must not talk about because the organizers told us not to.“ He also revealed that he will have five telephone conversations with people from Europe and the world, adding that the public will be informed about some of them.

In his fifth consecutive public appearance since last Friday, Vucic also complained that all these obligations prevent him from dealing with the campaign. According to him, however, these obligations are helping Serbia improve its international reputation.

While answering the Pink TV journalist, Gordana Uzelac’s question how Serbia could avoid the fate of a mouse in an elephant fight between the meetings in Washington and Paris, the president said:

„No matter how this ends, it is important that we make it through the elephant fight unharmed. When elephants quarrel, they are too big for us. We will look for opportunities to weasel our way out,“ Vucic replied, underlining that Serbia will not fight against Germany and the United States – but that it will pursue a smarter policy.

He revealed that he and Prime Minister Brnabic received calls to reject either side (cf. Germany or the USA), adding that Serbia will not do that, as it needs both of them as allies.

„Reject each other – do whatever you want, just let us be. Let’s talk about the crucial thing – not about where it will take place or how… We will talk and preserve our interests,“ he told representatives of the international community.

The Serbian President also had a message for representatives of the opposition who are „attacking him through the opposition media“ because of the announced Washington meeting.

„I am ashamed to even seriously reply to that. I am ashamed because it says a lot more about these people than it does about us. This will not be a topic, nor will we allow it to be a topic,“ Vucic said, speaking about accusations that the Serb government is going to Washington to recognize Kosovo on the eve of Vidovdan.

The talks in Washington will be solely of an economic nature, both Vucic and Prime Minister Brnabic confirmed today.

Albanians told to give up the campaign for membership in international organizations

Vucic said that he is optimistic about the upcoming talks, but skeptical that the Albanians will suspend the campaign for membership in international organizations. Grenell informed them about this yesterday, he stressed.

„I expect a good talk with Lajcak. I expect an excellent visit to the Russian Federation. We will see first whether the Albanians will respect what Grenell said about not campaigning to join international organizations, because Thaci never wanted to accept that. I have been offering that for four years. I insisted on it for four years because there was always a terrible campaign against us and for four years they did not accept it. Now they are suddenly informed that they did – we will see,“ said Vucic.

He described the latest negotiation developments as „a great international game between big players“, along with which „Albanians are playing their internal games“.

The Kosovo media reported on Friday that the Executive Board of the European Union Intelligence Agency, EUROPOL, approved an agreement on cooperation with law enforcement agencies in Kosovo, which gave Kosovo a liaison officer at the EUROPOL headquarters in the Hague. It remains unknown whether Serbia has previously opposed this particular Kosovo initiative, but membership in international police organizations, such as INTERPOL, has been met with strong resistance from Serbian authorities.

„I am happy that we do not have such internal games, that we are behaving seriously and responsibly, that we have a unified stance. I have no problem with talking. What I see as a future problem is that there is no substantial, essential solution for which I could believe is equally acceptable or equally unacceptable for both sides,“ he concluded.




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