Tadic: Serbia should consider NATO membership

Serbia "will have to very seriously consider the possibility of special ties with NATO and perhaps even full membership," says Boris Tadic.

Source: RTS, Tanjug

The former Serbian president and former leader of the Democratic Party (DS), who now heads the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDS), spoke for the state broadcaster RTS on Wednesday.

According to Tadic, "military neutrality of Serbia is economically unsustainable in the next 20 years," while "citizens need to be told very clearly what awaits in the next 20 years."

He then noted this was "not a popular thing to say," considering that "five to ten percent" of Serbians today back "this policy." But, he continued, "citizens need to be aware that NATO is a bridge we will be arriving to in the coming period and that we may have to cross."

"There's the need there for citizens to declare themselves in a referendum, although that is not necessary according to the Constitution," he said, and recalled "the words of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that no country should join NATO by force."

Speaking about his party's plans and the possibility of joining the ruling coalition after a cabinet reshuffle, he said he "never had the ambition to join the government," and that the SDS is not a government member "because it sees no point in being in the government."

"We will think about what to do after the election." he said.

"Despite the offer to join both the republic and provincial governments, we did not do it," Tadic said, describing himself as "a politician who has no ambition that he has not fulfilled," adding that there was "nothing he did not do in the sphere of politics."

"I don't have that dream, like Ivica Dacic, to become premier, foreign minister," said he.

Commenting on the shadow cabinet put together by the DS, Tadic said it had "no program," while it was "meaningless for everything to amount to presenting their opinion on government's moves during press conferences."

As for the possibility of running for the post of UN secretary-general, Tadic said this was "media speculation," and added:

"If I had the intention of becoming UN secretary-general, I would have had to launch my campaign several years ago."

Tadić remarked that former Serbian Foreign Minister and former UN General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic is encountering "serious problems" in his bid to become a candidate, "because nobody become that if one UN Security Council member vetoes it."

"Jeremic has several such countries that will veto him," said Tadic.


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