"Serbia on road to EU, remains Russia's friend"
Serbia is "a free, democratic country on its way to the EU," but despite the pressure, will not break up its friendship with Russia, Aleksandar Vučić has said.Source: RTS, Tanjug
"Serbia is on its way to the EU and has a great friendship with Russia, which it will not destroy," the prime minister told Serbia's public broadcaster RTS late on Wednesday.
There is pressure, but Serbia behaves as a free country and takes care of its own future, and should the pressure be such that it is no longer possible, then someone else will rule and make different decisions, he stated.
He rejected the claims by OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović regarding censorship of internet websites in Serbia.
Mijatović expressed her concern two days ago about "censorship of websites in Serbia" and called on the country's authorities to foster a free debate on issues of public interest.
According to a release by the OSCE, "this censorship trend took on a worrying aspect last week when some websites and online content were blocked at a time of crisis, when floods hit the region."
Vučić replied that it was absolutely false to say there had been demands for articles to be pulled down from websites, and that such allegations caused great harm to Serbia, "but not to himself."
"If the actual problem is that Serbia is the only country in the region that has not imposed sanctions on Russia, then it should be brought out in the open, instead of accusing my government for alleged censorship," he remarked.
"I have said so to our foreign friends as well: 'If you want to bring me down because Serbia has shown that it acts as a free country and makes free and independent decisions on Russia and Ukraine, I will step down, because I do not want to harm the country,'" he stated.
Vučić stressed that his task as prime minister was to protect Serbia's interest, and not that of the US, Russia or the EU.
It is time for Serbia to be on the same side with Germany, and to be not only a political, but also an economic partner of the country, said Aleksandar Vučić.
Vučić told the RTS that he will go to Berlin on June 11, stressing that for him personally, and especially for Serbia, it is a great honor that he has received an invitation from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to pay an official visit.
"I am going to Berlin to hear what Germany thinks of and expects from Serbia, and to voice Serbia's expectations and hopes," said Vučić.
Vučić said that he wants to "point to the type of aid that Serbia hopes when it comes to the reconstruction of the country after floods, and also to underline that it wants Germany to be its strategic and political partner."
"Serbia wants to attract greater investments," Vučić said, adding that in talks with German businesspeople he "learned that they are interested in investing in Serbia."
"Since we could not be friends with Germans throughout history - at some points there was no need for that - it is time now for us to be on the same side with Germany," Vučić was quoted as saying, adding “we need to see whether Berlin recognizes us as partners."