Šešelj's release "attempt to destabilize country"
Serbian Labor Minister Aleksandar Vulin has said that it was Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić who enabled for Vojislav Šešelj to return to Serbia.Source: Tanjug
Vulin told TV Pink on Friday that while every citizen of Serbia has the right to medical treatment and care, there were also "attempts to use the arrival of Šešelj directly against Vučić and as something that should destabilize Serbia - and that will not be allowed."
Šešelj, the leader of the Serb Radical Party (SRS) accused of war crimes and incarcerated by the Hague Tribunal for the past 11 years, is ill with cancer and will be released for humanitarian reasons, the court announced on Thursday.
Vulin told the Belgrade-based broadcaster today that he "assumed" there was some agreement between the Hague Tribunal and Šešelj that competent state authorities will be informed about, and behave accordingly.
The minister added that "the government of the Republic of Serbia gave guarantees the same second they were asked of us."
Vulin stressed that Serbia must continue along the path it has taken - and that is "the path of independence, sovereignty and our sovereign choosing with whom and how, and to what extent."
"Don't try to intimidate Vučić in any way, it will not work," said Vulin, noting that he hoped to speak with the prime minister during the day.
According to Vulin, the release of Šešelj is "a political message of the Hague Tribunal and an attempt to destabilize Serbia."
"I am glad for every citizen to be set free and the government gave guarantees unconditionally, without question, without calculating whether this is the right moment, but I am concerned about the political message of the Hague Tribunal, which acts as a political court," said the minister.
According to him, the decision is "an attempt to destabilize the government of Serbia and an attempt to intimidate its president, Aleksandar Vučić."
"The Hague has been used this time and all this is much bigger than just releasing Šešelj, this is the answer to Vučić - you want Putin in Belgrade, you want to have a (military) parade, and you did not agree that we keep him (Šešelj) in prison for another ten years, you must abandon the policy of relations with both Russia and the EU," Vulin asserted.
He noted that the West also in the past blackmailed the prime minister, threatening to "destabilize the country" unless the policy of "both Russia and the EU" was abandoned, but added that attempts to intimidate Vučić should not be made, "because he will not change his policy."
"The country cannot be destabilized when you have a firm government and a functioning state," said Vulin.
According to him, it is "no coincidence" that the leader of the Radicals will be released three days after a deputy from his party supported the reshuffling of the provincial government of Vojvodina. That government is led by the Democrats (DS), and Vučić's SNS party is in opposition in the province. "One thing does not go with the other," according to Vulin.
The minister then said that the drone with a "Greater Albania" map flown above the football pitch in Belgrade during a Serbia-Albania game was "sent by foreign services with the goal of destabilizing the country."
"You think the drone was there by accident, that fans did that - it was done by foreign services and they wanted to cause destabilization, now there will be a visit of Albanian prime minister that nobody will be glad about," said Vulin.
Finally, Vulin stressed that he was expressing his "personal opinions" and that none of the things he spoke about on Friday had been discussed with Vučić - but that he "felt that Serbia needs to hear that there are powerful states and people who do not want a stable Serbia".