Serbian deputy PM's trip to Croatia canceled

BELGRADE -- The Serbian government has canceled the visit of Deputy Prime Minister Suzana Grubješić to Croatia, that was due to take place on November 27.

Suzana Grubješić (Beta, file)
Suzana Grubješić (Beta, file)

The cabinet member in charge of EU integration spoke on Monday morning to say that she "would not feel comfortable to go to Zagreb at the moment".

“Now it is not the time, occasion or atmosphere. I would not feel comfortable to be there, and back the protocol on cooperation in the domain of EU integration in such a bad atmosphere for Serbs and Serbia,” Grubješić told the public broadcaster RTS.

She explained that she should have traveled to Zagreb to extend the protocol on cooperation in the field of EU integration signed in 2009, which is valid until March 2013.

Following the appeals process acquittal of Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač - found guilty of committing war crimes against Serbs in the tribunal's original ruling - raises a legitimate question of whether the Hague Tribunal has fulfilled its role - to contribute to the reconciliation and regional cooperation, she said.

“The consequence of that judgment is the rise of nationalism in both Croatia and Serbia,” Grubješić said, adding that she "understands emotions, but that they should be abated", while "interest should be found in everything as well as a maximum available to us in the given negative situations".

She added that "there will be no reconsidering of Serbia's further EU integration because of the Hague Tribunal's decision".

The minister also advised against "repeating that 'it's not fair'":

"What we can do now is to take care of what's happening in our own backyard, carry out reforms, the fight against corruption, judicial, economic reforms."

When asked about a start date for Serbia's EU entry talks, Grubješić said that it is vital to resolve at least some outstanding issues in the dialogue with Priština, as Kosovo became the condition of all conditions, but that "not much can be done by December".

Serbia will not give up on the dialogue, or progress, as we do not see some other way as better, Grubješić said.

She noted that at the moment, there is no danger that the EU might restore visa requirements for Serbia, but that a long-term solution should be found for the issue of fake political asylum seekers.