Brnabic: "We request from Australia" VIDEO

Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, told the British Sky News today that she and the whole of Serbia firmly stand by the World No. 1, Novak Djoković.

Source: B92, Tanjug
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Australian authorities did not allow Novak Djokovic to enter the country, and Brnabić stated that Serbia is fighting for Djoković to have equal treatment as other athletes.

Brnabic also pointed out the request, without wanting to interfere in the immigration regulations in Australia, that Djokovic be allowed to be transferred from inadequate conditions in the hotel where he is staying to the house he rented and where he would stay during the "Australian Open", with the guarantees of the state of Serbia.

In the news at 2 p.m., a report was broadcast about Djokovic who, after several hours of waiting at the airport in Australia, was denied entry to the country, citing a statement by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on the case, as well as a statement by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson , who said "it's a good idea to get vaccinated".

Asked if she agreed with Johnson's statement, Brnabic said that she had been vaccinated herself, even with the third dose, and that the authorities in Serbia were constantly calling on citizens to be vaccinated, but that, specifically, Novak Djokovic did not receive the same treatment as other athletes in Australia.

"Novak received a medical exemption, as well as permission to participate in the Australian Open, so he is there now," Brnabic said.

When asked why he is in such a situation if there is an exception, Brnabic said that it is a question for the Australian authorities, in which she does not want to interfere, but that it is important for her as Prime Minister and the whole country to reach a solution as soon as possible.

"We are asking that Novak be transferred from the hotel, hostel, where he is now, to the house he rented and where he would stay during the tournament. As Prime Minister of Serbia, I do not want to interfere in immigration rules in Australia, but Serbia has offered all guarantees for Djokovic to be transferred to another place while he waits for the decision," said Brnabic.

She stated that the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, is in direct contact with Djoković and his family, and that she is in contact with the Embassy of Serbia in Australia, and the Embassy of that country in Belgrade.

"We really don't understand. Novak has a medical exemption, based on that he got a permit to participate in the tournament, he boarded a plane... If you don't have a visa or all the documents, you can't even board a plane, especially not for Australia. Other tennis players who had a medical exemption entered the country," Brnabic said.

Asked whether she agreed with the president's assessment that it was a matter of political persecution, Brnabic said that she could not see anything else in it.

"Novak was treated differently. He has an exception, he got permission from the tournament organizers, boarded the plane, and was detained for several hours at the airport... He was treated differently from the others and that is what makes us think so," said Brnabic.

When asked by the host regarding Novak Djokovic's announcements about vaccination on social networks, Brnabic said that he could not be Djokovic's lawyer for his personal views.

"Rules are rules, if he received an exemption, which was accepted by the organizers and medical staff of the Australian Open, if he was allowed to get on the plane, if his team showed evidence, I don't know why it happens to him," the Serbian prime minister asked again.

Brnabic says that Serbia will accept the decision, and she emphasized that we all know that at least 20 different tennis players have not been vaccinated, and they have shown the reasons for that and they will be allowed to play.

"Yet, Novak is the only one who has an exemption and is not allowed to enter Australia," she said.

"We will do everything so that Novak has the same treatment. I stand by Novak, Serbia stands by Novak, we all stand by Novak and his family in these difficult times," said Brnabic, emphasizing that we are all waiting for a quick response and that in the meantime Novak will be transferred to adequate accommodation.

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