Vučić: Full support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine PHOTO / VIDEO
Tonight, President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, addressed the nation from the Palace of Serbia: "This is not the time for imposing sanctions on Russia".Source: B92
President stated at the very beginning that these are especially difficult days for Serbia for many reasons.
"In the previous days, we managed to take a stand on the crisis in Ukraine in terms of what state bodies will do. We were faced with problems and pressures, almost undisguised. However, the decision was taken with a cool head in the best interest of Serbia", Vučić said.
He emphasized that there were many lies and misinformation in the media in Serbia and the region regarding the position of our state.
"At one point, I wondered why someone wanted to look at the Serbian yard."
The President then read the set of conclusions made by the Republic of Serbia.
"At its session, the National Security Council reached the following conclusion:
1. Serbia sincerely regrets events in east of Europe because both Russia and Ukraine friendly states.
2. Serbia respects the territorial integrity and independence of states as a basic principle.
3. Serbia is committed to preserving its territorial integrity, as well as the integrity of other countries.
4. Due to its consistency with respect for international law, no objection can be addressed to Serbia.
5. Serbia provides full support to the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
6. The Republic of Serbia feels that it is very wrong to violate the territorial integrity of any state, including Ukraine.
7. Serbia is committed to preserving peace in the region, which is of key importance for the economic development of our country. Preserving peace is a vital interest of the Serbian people.
8. Serbia will be guided solely by its own interests in considering sanctions against any state including Russia. It feels that it is not in its interest to impose sanctions on any state.
9. Starting from the principle of our military neutrality, it is necessary that all military and police activities with foreign partners will be discontinued and that state bodies will do everything to prevent Serbian nationals from joining in the conflict.
10. Serbia will take all necessary steps to protect its citizens in Ukraine.
11. State bodies will do everything to prevent Serbian nationals from joining in the conflict in Eastern Europe.
12. Serbia will provide humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine.
13. The competent authorities shall take all measures to provide energy, gas, oil, food and necessary foodstuffs.
14. Serbia will inform its consuls about these conclusions". President of Serbia added that there was no hurry in making such a decision.
“Serbia respects international law as the best way to protect itself and its interests… Serbia has its vital interests and has traditional friends, we remember 2015 and 1999. We did not rush to make a decision. We responded in the most responsible way to challenges,” he said and added that the decision will not be to everyone’s liking.
He also said that Serbia had participated in many wars and stressed that peace was much needed.
"Let's protect our people, citizens and their lives. Let's look to the future and future progress". He called on the citizens of Serbia to unite.
Referring to the meeting with Patriarch Porfirije, he said that he had read the conclusion to him and pointed out the problems we are facing.
"Let the Patriarch speak about his position, he understands the needs and problems of Serbia."
Commenting on the decision not to impose sanctions on Russia, the president asked: "How do you think we will impose sanctions on Russia overnight? To those who did not impose sanctions on us, who did not impose sanctions on RS today, who kept us in the Security Council. Do you think that you have the right to forget such things in state affairs? Russia is now the biggest guarantor of UN Resolution 1244."
He emphasized that "it would not be fair if we were not fair to Ukraine, which has never done us any harm and has always supported the integrity of Serbia."
"Some people think that they can say everything to Russia that they can lecture Serbia. They are no longer interested in what the Russians will do but what we can do in Serbia, all great heroes," Vucic concluded.
He added that it is our job to be fair, to bring an official document, that is our position.
"I am the president for another 3-4 days. It was mine to do everything I can to save Serbia. I am not scared at all, we had difficult talks, so much so that our interlocutors did not have any harder. I do not remember stronger pressures than those coming from Brussels before 9-10 years".
"Serbia is on the European path, but Serbia will not rush into hostilities because someone else is asking for it," President Vučić was clear.
On how our non-imposition of sanctions on Russia will affect the relationship with the EU, Vučić stated that "stories are prone to changes".
"Do you really think that after days and weeks, because unlike others, I predicted what would happen and I told world leaders what would happen, do you think that we are all stupid, so that someone can come up with something better? Elections are coming, so vote for president who want to impose sanctions on Russia, only then will you see how you will explain to the people when people say they no longer support the territorial integrity of Serbia? Do you think it is possible to find an easier and better solution for Serbia? This is our common position. We are all leaving but we have shown much more than others. What did Serbia do wrong to say that it supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine?"
He clearly said that we did not impose sanctions because we have our own country and our own leadership that is capable of making decisions.
"If we only need to rewrite the decisions of Brussels, then we do not need the leadership and integrity of the country. We have interests in Kosovo and Metohija, but also economic ones. This is not a matter of what we want or not. We need peace the most, peace of our women and mothers. That makes Serbia grow. This is our decision, if you are looking for the culprit for that decision, I am to blame. Some thought that sanctions should be imposed on Russia, I did not," he concluded.
He commented on the statement of the Croatian president that Belgrade will attack Kosovo with squirt guns, saying that he respects the Croatian state and army.
"Unlike them, I have a lot of respect for the Croatian state and the army. They invest a lot of money in it. As far as squirt guns are concerned, Vukan is the absolute champion, he has a collection of them - 19. He would like to be a soldier... I don't think they are worried about squirt guns, they are worried about the fact that Serbia is getting stronger".
As for military operations, the president pointed out that he "gave an order as the Supreme Commander that everything that is happening should be well studied, because our army can learn a lot from it."
"We should establish cooperation with everyone, be in good relations with everyone. We continue on our European path, maintaining good relations with traditional friends, but always - find confidence in ourselves. I urge all people today to be united, instead of making further divisions, we should show how much we love our country and we are pushing it forward, fully understanding how important peace is for us", Vučić concluded in tonight's address.