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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Military parade was "message to our friends, and enemies"

The military-police parade "Defense of Freedom" was a clear message to friends and enemies, everyone should interpret it as they see fit, says Aleksandar Vulin.

May 13, 2019

Asked to comment on the claim made by some Western media that Serbia was engaging in "saber-rattling" during a time of instability in Kosovo and Metohija, the defense minister said Belgrade did contribute to that instability.

Instead, Pristina has done that by not implementing even the basic obligations it had accepted under the Brussels agreement.

"Instability is not something that suits Serbia. President Aleksandar Vucic is the only serious statesman in the entire region whose policy is peace. I am not sure that there are interlocutors for this peace policy every time and I am not sure they approach sincerely his offer for peace and reconciliation in the whole region," Vulin told TV Pink.

According to him, the parade in Nis was supposed to be a reminder that Serbia was the winner in the fight against Nazism and fascism, that it has safeguarded its freedom, and can defend it.

Asked to comment on the reaction of the US ambassador in Belgrade to the participation of retired Yugoslav Army (VS) General Vladimir Lazarevic - who has been found guilty by the Hague Tribunal - in the May 9 Immortal Regiment march in Nis, Vulin said that it would have been better for Kyle Scott not to speak about this, since he has never condemned crimes committed against Serbs.

"Be quiet. Nobody's saying anything about proven war criminals running Kosovo and Metohija, about the creation of Greater Albania - but you must forbid the Serb people the right to remember?," he said.

Vulin added that Vucic is not that president who will be apologizing or who will push warriors who defended this country to the sidelines, or extradite them to anyone.

"Victory Day is marked by those who fought against fascism. To fight against the KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army"), against terrorism, is to fight against fascism, and I see no the reason why General Lazarevic and all who fought against fascism, who are ideologically against fascism, would not be in the street on that day," stressed Vulin.

He added that Scott's statement - describing the general's participation as "disgraceful" - shows he doesn't care about the country where he works, where he came to represent the policy of a great power. "To utter the word 'disgrace' about Nis, and not to condemn the NATO bombing, not to condemn the pilots who killed 26-year-old Ljiljana Spasic, three-year-old Milica Rakic, Bojan Tosovic...," he stressed, mentioning some of the victims of NATO's 1999 war against Serbia.

As for an advisor to Ramush Haradinaj tweeting that it was General Vladimir Lazarevic was also at the helm of the military parade in Nis a day after the Immortal Regiment, Vulin said this claim had not been made in error.

"The veterans were led by General Zarko Lazarevic during 'Defense of Freedom'. Vladimir Lazarevic is appearing to them. It's no mistake, they are lying just as they are lying about mass rapes and genocide," Vulin concluded.

Source: https://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics.php?yyyy=2019&mm=05&dd=13&nav_id=106815

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