Vucic: After urging Russia sanctions, West to push Kosovo recognition
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warns that West is requesting Belgrade to sanction Russia in order to push Serbia into formal Kosovo recognition.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warned that the West will require Serbia to sign an agreement denoting the formal recognition of the currently partially-recognized republic of Kosovo as soon as Belgrade agreed to impose sanctions against Russia.
Vucic explained that in the past Serbia "handed over [former Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic," regardless of "what we think about him." He asked "Why should we have extradited the president? Did we become part of the European Union after that?"
He answered "No," and further explained that "after that we killed our own prime minister [Zoran Djindjic]. And again, we are not sure that this is the work of domestic forces only. Then we were told: arrest [former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko] Mladic, [former President of the Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina Radovan] Karadzic, conducted secret operations ... And what did we get? Visa liberalization?"
He put these events in context to highlight the current situation Serbia is being put in. Vucic stated "now, if we impose sanctions [on Russia], then it turns out that the time has come for an agreement with Kosovo."
Moreover, the Serbian president noted that Pristina could be granted UN membership Belgrad's formal recognition of Kosovo's independence.
The Serbian president suggested that Pristina could be granted membership in the United Nations without formal recognition of the independence of the self-proclaimed republic by Belgrade.
Serbia will not sanction Russia: President
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said, earlier in October 2022, that Belgrade will not impose sanctions on Russia until its very existence is threatened.
The Serbian President made the remarks during a televised appearance on the TV Prva broadcaster.
"As long as there is no existential threat to Serbia, to its citizens, we will not [impose sanctions], we will pursue an independent policy which we have defined by decisions of the Security Council. If we find ourselves in such a situation, if I see and understand that we are faced with an existential threat, then I will address the citizens of Serbia and tell them that we must do so,” he said.
“You are asking me whether this moment has come, I think it has not. I am proud that for 240 days we have been pursuing an independent policy," he added. The president reiterated that he "is not looking for an excuse to impose sanctions," and that he can "find five million reasons" not to.
"I seek a moral and legally unimpeachable position for the country that I love the most and lead by choice of its citizens," Vucic said.
The president concluded by saying that Serbia, which the West has accused of violating UN resolutions and the UN Charter over the Kosovo issue, is preventing “the West from accusing Russia of violating international law in the current situation”.
In 2008, Kosovo separated from Serbia - although most countries recognize Kosovo's independence, Russia and China have blocked its official recognition in the United Nations.
Earlier in March, Serbians rallied in Belgrade in support of Russia, and Serbia has recently voiced its refusal to join NATO, citing the 1999 killing of Yugoslavian children.
The country has been under immense pressure to join the EU in imposing sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine. However, Serbia has refused to join the sanctions on Moscow.
It is worth noting that Security Council Resolution No. 1244 confirms that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia and that arbitrary treatment of the principle of territorial integrity, with regard to a sovereign state, can only be considered a blatant interference in its internal affairs.
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