"Those thinking victory's easy, learn, Serb walnut's hardy"

"Anyone thinking Serbia's easily beaten, humiliated, its people driven out of their centuries-old homes will see the Serb walnut is hardy, and a strange fruit."

Source: B92, Tanjug


Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday Rio Tinto's Jadar Project would be a major development boom for Serbia and its Podrinje region, which has 10 percent of the world's lithium deposits.

"The mineral jadarite is one of Serbia's biggest hopes and now it's a question of how the lithium required for electric car batteries can be extracted," Vucic told reporters in Loznica, western Serbia.

He said the lithium deposits, situated near the city, were a fantastic source of wealth for the country.

Talks about all this are underway with Rio Tinto and the company is already in talks with Chinese firms as there are 26 ingredients from which the lithium needs to be extracted, which is a technologically complicated process, Vucic said.

By saying this, Aleksandar Vucic was apparently referring to a Serbian proverb, "The hardy walnut is a strange fruit; you'll break your teeth but won't crack it open," that is often used as metaphor for Serbia and its people.

And the president said this in the western country, in the town of Lozinica, the Macva District - a part of his "Future of Serbia" campaign started last week.

In addressing the people gathered in front of the General Hospital in Loznica, Vucic said he "did not fear Serbia would not accomplish its accelerated progress and prosperity, if it preserves peace."

"Our only trouble is that some people would like to drag us into conflicts, take us back. We'll do our best to preserve peace. Never will we allow anyone to exile, humiliate, attack the Serb people in Kosovo and Metohija or anywhere else our people live," was his message.

After the 2014 floods, he said, "hard and painful reforms had been launched" in the area - thanks to which the roads toward Osecina and Valjevo have been reconstructed, along with solving the issue of the Kursalson and the access roads to Banja (Spa) Koviljaca.

Speaking about what has been done, Vucic especially recalled the arrival of two investors in Lozinica - Adient and China's Bint - who will create 2,500 more jobs.



In the Loznica hospital, as he conveyed, RSD 500 million have been invested in three departments.

He said that the construction of the Sabac-Loznica highway is planned, for which experts still are assessing whether it will be "a real highway or a road with additional two lanes."

This is, in his words, very important, because only with "accelerated infrastructure" is it possible to bring investors.

The state, as he explained, was able to invest money in infrastructure and restoration of buildings, because it had a healthy state treasury.

Investors, he added, can only be brought if there is a good and precise policy.

He pointed out that the route from Loznica to Ruma and Novi Sad is not cheap, that it will cost hundreds of millions of euros, nearly a billion when it comes together, and that nothing could be realized if there was no support for the reforms.

Then the president announced "the most modern stadium would be built in Loznica, as well as another eight cities in Serbia."

Since this announcement received the grand applause from those assembled, the president remarked that his stories about "hospitals, raising salaries and pensions, were all in vain - when people like stadiums the most."

"We will build the stadium - and you make sure to have a Super League (top Serbian football competition) participant. That depends on you," Vucic told those gathered in Loznica.


There are hotheads in Pristina, President Vucic in said Loznica, commenting on Ramush Haradinaj saying, after the latest US request, that the taxes (on goods from central Serbia) will not be abolished, and on Haradinaj's warnings to the head of EU's diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, that there will be no dialogue if this issue is involved.

"I am not optimistic about the further development of the situation," Vucic noted, adding:

"It's not Mogherini's fault, she did not do anything there, but it's speaks to their (Pristina's) nervousness. I thinks that there's no point in talking about some more important things if we do not have the free flow of goods, services and people. What should we talk about?"

Vucic also said that "today is a big problem for him, a difficult challenge and it easily becomes a nightmare, the irresponsibility of Albanian politicians, as well as some in Serbia, who are luckily no longer in power, and who do not understand that we no longer have a frozen conflict."

"It is unfrozen and we are only looking to see that the damage is as small as possible and to preserve peace. I am horrified by what they are doing. We did not respond to them with any measure, we will wait a short time, so we will sit down to see how we will go about," Vucic said.

He thanked "Russia, China, and Western partners" for their support to facilitate the free flow of goods and services.

"Obviously, to some hotheads the rational calls do not mean anything," said Vucic.


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