International Information Centre for Balkan Studies

Vucic says he goes to Munich to assess further moves by Kosovo, US and Germany

February 12, 2020

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic told the Russian Sputnik media outlet on Wednesday he would take part at the Security Conference in Munich, adding his presence would be of a great significance to Serbia "since we will be able to assess the next Pristina's steps better, what are the German, US and the rest in the international community moves, the Beta news agency reported.

 He told Sputnik that his first meeting would be with Richard Grenell, the US President Donald Trump's special envoy for the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue on the normalisation of relations, whom he described as "a man of great energy, exceptional enthusiasm and ambition."

Vucic adds the Munich schedule is very tight with many panel discussions, bilateral meetings, talks with the German MPs, the US Senators and Congressmen, prime ministers… 

He said that he would meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in March on a date which has been set but added that he can’t disclose it.  

"We'll see what the plan will cover. Perhaps the joint panel in Munich which I will take part in (Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin) Kurti, will also be present. So, we'll see what the atmosphere will be," Vucic told Sputnik.

He said that he would be in a better position to assess the Pristina government’s next steps as well as those by the Germans, Americans and the rest of the international community.

He said that after the Munich Conference, a meeting with the Serbs from Montenegro, Bosnia's Republika Srpska and all other Serbs and the Serb NGOs from Montenegro was planned in Belgrade.

“That will be followed by a presentation of decorations for Statehood Day and on that same day we are going to Brussels for a lot of meetings on February 16 including with (EU Council President) Charles Michel.

A day later on February 17, Vucic said he would meet Russia's Defence Minister Sergey Shoygu in Belgrade, and on March 24, Serbia will host Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"I would stay for the donor’s dinner for Albania but I can’t, (Prime Minister) Ana Brnabic will go and I am going back to meet Sergey Shoygu for lunch on the 17th… and then on March 24th we are expecting (Russian Foreign Minister) Sergey Lavrov. We have excellent relations with Russia and we will continue to develop them. Sergey Shoygu is one our true, iconic friends who understands our position well. He speaks rarely, and does not speak long, but he has a fantastic understanding of everything and he is the man who once told me: “This is a good thing you did, it’s good that you did the right thing about these weapons, Serbia is safer with them”. Of course, he knows how small and weak we are compared to Russia but when a Sergey Shoygu says that, it means a lot,” Vucic said.

Vucic announced that Shoygu "is bringing something" but that he cannot talk about it, and will let the guest speak.    

Asked about the recent events in Montenegro and how he can help the Serbs in Montenegro, Vucic said that he thinks that Serbia is doing the smartest thing in the most dignified way. "Not interfering in Montenegro's internal affairs but fighting for the rights of our people in Montenegro, the survival of the Serbian Orthodox Church, not in a violent way but in a decent, democratic, legal manner. I think we have found the best possible measure," he said.

He said that he hopes the Montenegrin authorities will revoke the law on freedom of confession but added that it would be senseless to expect that to happen. “I hope and that would be good but even if it does not happen, the voice that has been raised is the voice of the undefeated people, a people who will not abandon their holy sites and their identity. If someone touches into the identity of the people, they get the answer that we saw over the past few weeks. Whatever you do legally, in essence, the people on the ground behave differently,” Vucic said.

He said that he supports the protesting people. “Do I support people protesting peacefully, calmly demanding their rights, who want to preserve their holy sites. How different do you think my answer can be than a yes and a big Yes,” Vucic said.

Source:  http://rs.n1info.com/English/NEWS/a568712/Vucic-to-attend-Munich-Security-Conference.html

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