PM "swore on Constitution, not to someone else"
Aleksandar Vucic, asked to comment on the decision to "diversify gas supplies", said he "swore on the Constitution of Serbia, not to someone else."Source: Tanjug
The Associated Press ran an interview with him earlier this week describing his statements about Serbia joining a U.S.-backed has pipeline from Azerbaijan as "a major policy shift" of the until now ally of Russia.
Vucic on Friday said this was "no policy shift," but a desire to ensure energy security and efficiency for Serbia.
On Thursday, Vucic remarked that he was too small to speak about Russia or America, "while everyone must to fend for themselves, and my job is to take care of Serbia."
Speaking at the Palace of Serbia today, he also commented on a statement of his first deputy and foreign minister, Ivica Dacic, on President Tomislav Nikolic's Kosovo platform, which Dacic said was "too late."
"It would be better for different ideas on key national issues to be presented within the state leadership, and to go public with agreed upon principles," said Vucic.
Asked to comment on Dacic's statement that a partition of Kosovo "would be the best solution," Vucic said: "Only united we can achieve the preservation of state and national interests, as well as economic prosperity."
Vucic then remarked that he "does not know if Dacic even saw Nikolic's platform." In his interview for the Belgrade-based daily Vecernje Novosti, Dacic said that he had not.
Vucic also said that "Serbia has had a good policy on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija."
"That's why I ask that we talk more and come out with agreed upon solutions. I do not see any sense in bickering and quarreling. We need to be united in order to move forward economically, and the economic expansion of Serbia is what we hope, and that is our greatest strength. You will see that in the years ahead."
He added that would be good if Pristina formed a special court to deal with crimes perpetrated by the KLA, and that the Serb deputies in the Kosovo parliament will vote in favor of such a decision.
Vucic was responding to a reporter's question when he said that Serbia "believes in what Clint Williamson was doing, as well as many organizations, which have collected evidence of crimes, and achieved results in those investigations."
He hopes, he said, to see indictments based on the evidence and the results of investigations, and was also looking forward to judgments, "but does not want to prejudge court decisions."
Asked about Hashim Thaci's announcement about Pristina's genocide lawsuit against Serbia, Vucic reiterated that he does not believe it can happen, and considers it "legally speaking impossible."
"It is so frivolous that I am not able to comment," the prime minister said and added that he was "very surprised when he heard that someone could even think to say something like that."
He believes that the announcement is likely meant to serve internal political purposes in Pristina, related to the future special court.
The prime minister then stated that "this announcement shows how serious a country Serbia is because it does not enter into political games and is not spoiling relations in the region."
And on the question of whether the case of the Bytyqi brothers would be solved by the time he visits the U.S. on June 1, Vucic replied that this was "not realistic, but that he certainly believes the case should be solved."
Vucic confirmed that Veran Matic will be involved in solving the case, "because he among other things showed initiative in solving the case of the murder of journalist Slavko Curuvija."
"Region of success"
Vucic was at the Palace of Serbia on Friday for a round table dubbed "A Region of Success," where he called on businesspeople to invest in Kosovo and Metohija.
He added that "Serbia will ensure considerable benefits regarding taxes and contributions to the ones who invest in this part of the country with the youngest population and the highest unemployment rate in Europe. "
Vucic said that the government's policy was "aimed at strong economy," adding that "a country is as strong as its economy."
“We have taken determined measures and made results that allow us to allocate funds for subsiding new jobs in Kosov and Metohija,” Vucic said.
Vucic urged the businesspeople participating in the meeting to open daughter companies in Kosovo in both Serb and ethnic Albanian areas, adding that the best solution for successful investing will be found in the next three months.
The round table organized by the Serbian Government's Office for Kosovo and Metohija in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce has brought together officials of the government, interim self-government institutions in Pristina, academic community, expert institutions, diplomatic corps and civil society, as well as businessmen and economic associations.