"Our wisdom preserved peace in Kosovo," says PM
"Thanks to the wisdom and the desire to avoid conflicts and preserve peace Serbia managed to do that," PM Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday evening in Belgrade.Source: B92, Beta
Speaking about the incidents in Kosovo over a passenger train traveling from Belgrade to Kosovska Mitrovica, Vucic, who was a guest on a TV Pink talk show, added:
"A good number of Serbs are angry that we did not push the train to Kosovska Mitrovica, we could have done that, but there would have been dead on both sides."
Vucic also observed "a loser syndrome in Serbia - we are guilty even where there's no guilt of ours."
Referring to the train's interior being decorated with motifs showing Serbian religious and cultural heritage in Kosovo, while the exterior had the colors of the Serbian flag and the words Kosovo is Serbia written in several languages, he said:
"We're to blame because the train looked the way it did, whether somebody likes it or not... wait a second, those people (Pristina) wanted to join UNESCO as an independent country, I guess they wanted to be proud of that? They are bothered by frescoes? Or the red-blue-and-white tricolor, or that Kosovo is Serbia? I'm not bothered by anything."
According to Vucic, in Serbia, "as soon as we start breathing we'd like to fight with everyone, although there's no need, while on the other hand there's this approach - we Serbs are guilty."
"It's an ordinary train, not an armored train, not a tank, not a plane, it's an ordinary train that transported ordinary passengers, parents with children. The insult is that it had (images of) frescoes from monasteries in Kosovo and Metohija," he remarked.
The Pristina authorities sent "a (police) unit" to a Serb municipality, he said, and they arrived in Donje Jarinje, where there are no Albanians at all.
"They (the police) take the train station in order to stop the train. (Hashim) Thaci and (Isa) Mustafa exit their meeting to say the train must be stopped at any price. They (the police) arrived with rifles," Vucic stressed.
He said that the permission of the local community and of NATO is needed in order for "the Kosovo unit", i.e., ROSU, to go to northern Kosovo.
"I don't know if they had NATO's permission, but they did not have that of the Serbs," Vucic remarked.
The prime minister also said he did not know what the train would look like, and saw it on television for the first time when Serbian Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija Director Marko Djuric presented it.
He said relations with the NATO force in Kosovo, KFOR, are "good - they guard Serbs and the monasteries south of the Ibar (River)."
Vucic also said he was present "during almost all negotiations with Albanians in Brussels."
"Our demand was that ROSU never goes to the north without permission, and that happened yesterday (Saturday) because they wanted to cause conflicts," he said, noting that he "did not meet with Kosovo President Thaci and had no scheduled meeting with him."
Vucic also praised Marko Djuric, remarking at the same time that he was "passionate, and still young."
"I often have to tell him to stop," he said.
"You won't convince me that Gavrilo Princip was to blame for the First World War, and you won't convince me that the train was to blame," Vucic concluded.