THE PRESIDENT of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, who is currently in New York where he is participating in the work of the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations, gave an interview to Tanjug.
The president said that his speech will be a shade harsher than the previous ones, and that the handicap is that he is speaking after the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
– We will not give up our positions, nor our country. I’m asking people to watch tonight. We took care of every word. Maybe those who delve deeper into the essence of politics will understand what we were fighting with – he said.
Vučić added that he had already announced earlier possible mobilization in Russia, and added that trains from all stations had left.
– No one will stop their machinery anymore. When the elephants fight it’s up to us little ones to hide, but I’m afraid they won’t let us be invisible. That’s why I think they will no longer tolerate Serbia’s libertarian attitudes. They don’t care. Just as they didn’t care when they bombed us in 1999, and just as some others care when they present views that harm Serbia. It is important for us to keep the peace. It’s not easy, you’ve seen Kurti’s latest statements. I think everyone is fed up with each other’s accusations, we will need a filigree game just to survive – he said.
The president adds that the economic situation will also get worse, and that huge changes will happen soon.
– Some countries will emerge from the crisis faster, some less. Some will de facto collapse and lose their economic sovereignty. It is up to us to be skilled and resourceful – he emphasized.
Vučić says that no one has patience for anyone anymore, and that no one will listen to anyone.
– We had a painful wound in 1999, 2008. They don’t really care. Biden said today that the Russians shamelessly invaded the territory of another country. You know how much I respect Biden, but what happened in 1999. That was beyond shameless. Serbia was attacked, but did not enter the territory of another country. How do you explain that the rules must apply equally to everyone. Erdogan and Biden spoke for half an hour each, so maybe I will extend my speech. If they have the right, so do we – added the president.
He says that everyone today refers to international law, and when it doesn’t suit them, they refer to force.
– There are three types of power. Hard, soft and smart power. We can’t use any of that, we don’t have the money for soft power, and the strength for the rest. We can only see how to avoid the power of certain NGOs. We have to try not to be the target of these most severe measures. A very difficult period is ahead of Serbia, both politically and economically – says Vučić.
The president also revealed that today the Moscow-Belgrade ticket on the black market costs as much as 9,000 dollars, due to mobilization.
He added that the bottom line is that today many want to present Kosovo as a sui generis case, which does not exist in international law.
– That’s why they’re in a hurry. As far as they can see, Minister Lavrov came out with a different thesis, linking the Minsk and Brussels agreements. He says that this is happening in Ukraine due to non-compliance with the Minsk Agreements, thereby providing some support to Serbia for what has not been fulfilled. But we don’t know what’s worse. All the worst that could have happened to our Serbia on the international level, happened – the president points out.
Vučić said that it is easy to sit at home and cheer, and that it is clear who they are cheering for in our country.
– But it is always best to support only Serbia. Difficult times are ahead, both economically and politically. We had talks with Borelja, but I don’t know how much support Serbia can count on when they give even more money to Ukraine – he says.
Regarding Putin’s speech, the president said that it is clear that the Russian president will not surrender, despite the advance of the Ukrainian army.
– It is clear that Putin will fight and will not surrender. It is also clear that the Ukrainian soldiers were far, far superior in numbers. Five or six to one. The Russian soldiers had almost no chance, and that’s why I assume that he decided on a partial mobilization. This will make it difficult for the West, and as far as Serbia is concerned, every day will be more and more difficult. Yesterday I had a meeting here, and half of the meeting was about Serbia and not a single name was mentioned. I said: “Okay, but say exactly what you think, you could have told us exactly what you want in one word” – revealed Vučić.
He says that the Chinese will never go headlong into strawberries, and that for them a time distance of 10 or 15 years means nothing.
– And Biden played it smart, he said he wants peace with China. They don’t want to fight on two fronts either. No one knows what will happen in the future. Now there are six or seven significant conflicts in the world. Not to mention the incident situations that bring hundreds of dead. It’s difficult, and that’s why we have to keep the peace. And especially because of those who lied that we were going to attack someone, from Sarajevo, Podgorica, Zagreb – the president added.
Vučić says that the arrival of Rivian is extremely important news, and thanked the team that worked on it.
– They are coming now, towards the end of the year they will open 200 jobs for engineers, later even 1000. People have to understand that this is one of the three largest American companies for electric cars. Our people worked a lot on it – he said.
The president also commented on Kurti’s statement that Serbia is an ally of Russia.
– I understand that, such statements have an effect. We should not underestimate those who perceive us as enemies. We certainly cannot accept his ideas that Serbs do not exist in Kosovo. They can see the UN building by being introduced by an official, just as I can introduce anyone from the street. They can neither approach Sally nor see her even on a postcard. That’s why CNN and the liberal woke media gave them space to tell lies about Serbia. He wants to outplay Zelenski all the time, considering that the West is a sure winner, and he wants to place himself at the top of their, we say it differently, flies that come under the lower part of the back. He provokes all the time by causing conflict, but we will avoid it. That is a sign of our strength – said Vučić.
He confirmed that European officials pressured him to introduce sanctions against Russia.
– They told me that to my face. And five or six of us from the region in front of us. They spent half the meeting talking about when we will introduce sanctions. I said I understood the message, excellent. No one threatened, but that was almost the only topic of the meeting. I think few people will put up with us. You have also seen the British positions on China and Russia, everything is heading towards a world conflict. The question is what we will save from ourselves, but I ask people to have confidence in their leadership, we are neither cowards nor fools – says the president.
Vučić adds that it will not be easy to save the country, and that we are facing a difficult situation regarding energy sources and food.
– You will see food shortages not only in Africa, but also in Europe. Luckily here, I want to calm people down, there will be enough of everything. We are coming to discuss pension and salary increases. Our expenses are higher, but our incomes have also increased. But when we were making the budget, we didn’t know that the war would start. People need to know that this is an issue of the world falling apart. Destruction of the entire architecture of the world. And people in Serbia didn’t feel it at all, but nothing at all. But that’s why difficult times are coming – he points out.
The President also spoke about the document, the proposal of the German and French negotiators, which he rejected.
– Do I know what the content is, of course I do. That’s why they received an important message about it yesterday. Serbia will not allow membership of the so-called Kosovo in the UN while I am the president. Maybe the government decides otherwise, but it won’t have my signature. And do we want a compromise solution and good relations, of course we do. But let’s first see the rights of the Serbs, what we get, how Resolution 1244 is respected. But I’m afraid that’s not entirely realistic – added Vučić.
When asked whether the five EU countries that did not recognize Kosovo would give in if pressured by Brussels, the president answered as follows:
– For some, I’m sure they won’t give in. Some may give in, but they are still our great friends. And they are under enormous pressure, as are Vietnam and Kenya. I received an invitation to meet with the Kenyan president. And to repeat, yesterday I received a message in my hands, in Spanish and English, about the withdrawal of recognition. We continue to do our work, and the collective west will continue. Only one thing he will never be able to do. To explain the moral and legal reasons for the attack on our country and the dismemberment of Serbia – he points out.
Vučić says that we currently have eight notes on the withdrawal of recognition, which he keeps in a safe, and that he will not reveal which countries they are until Pristina tries to join some international organizations.
Finally, he said that he did not mention political opponents who are using the difficult time to attack their country.
– I call on all people to be united, and to understand that for the whole world this is the most difficult period since the Second World War. Everyone will be merciless towards us, they will explicitly ask us to take one side. It will be a difficult time, but if we want to preserve the standard, we will have to conduct politics with filigree precision, to make difficult decisions, but the most important thing is to preserve the country, life in Serbia and not to trample on our own pride and the heroic past of our nation and endanger the future of our children – concluded is he.
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