FM: Kiev used "unacceptable language" to talk about Russia
First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic says Serbia found a recent UNGA resolution on Crimea unacceptable because of the way it qualified Russia.Source: Beta
As Dacic told reporters in Belgrade on Thursday, the Kiev-proposed resolution on "violations of human rights in Crimea" speaks about Russia "in the worst possible way."
"The language, the tone and the way that Russia is characterized in this document was unacceptable to us at that point," Dacic said, the Beta agency reported, noting that the resolution described Crimea as "temporarily occupied" by Russia.
Serbia, and, among others, Angola, Belarus, Venezuela, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Cuba, North Korea, Russia, and Syria voted against the document that invites "the Russian occupation authorities" to end "the abuse of the inhabitants of the Crimea" - especially "the discriminatory measures and practices, arbitrary detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment."
Reacting to Serbia's decision to vote against, Ukraine's ambassador in Belgrade told a local newspaper that he "did not understand why Serbia did it."
Dacic also told reporters today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that Serbia often in the past acted with restraint when it came to resolutions concerning similar subjects, "where negative words were used to talk about Serbia's friendly countries."
"In this case it would have been difficult to further maintain such good relations with Russia, had we joined this resolution," Dacic said, adding that he did not expect any "consequences" for the country due to the decision - "because Serbia is autonomous it its foreign policy, and is not an EU member."
"We are not determining a common foreign policy, we are under obligation to gradually align with it, and that will last until our full membership in the EU," Dacic said.
The minister added that Serbia "would like it if things similar to the resolution on Crimea would not repeat."
"All those countries who can today object because Serbia did not vote in favor or abstain - I don't believe they would vote for a resolution that would similarly characterize the situation in Kosovo. So much for a principled approach," said Dacic.
He also commented on Wednesday's weapons deal secured in Moscow by Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, to say that the agreement and the decision to modernize the Serbian Army was something "that can be misinterpreted when viewed from the outside."
"We are not readying to start a war, we are readying to preserve the peace. You know, when Croatia acquires weapons they say, 'but Croatia's not threatening anyone'. Now it will turn out that Serbia is. Croatia is preparing for peace when they buy helicopters and everything else, while us, well, we're preparing for war. It's good that relations are, after all, kept at this chocolate war," Dacic said, referring to a recent apology offered by Croatia's president for handing out chocolate made in Serbia.