"Without Russia, we can hardly save Kosovo"
Serbia's primary interest is to preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty, but it can hardly preserve its position in the UN without Russia, Dačić saysSource: Tanjug
As SPS leader Ivica Dačić told Tanjug, if Moscow sides with Belgrade, Russia can veto and the so-called Kosovo can never join the UN.
"We should avoid behaving irrationally and emotionally towards the current situation. If we are ready to give up Kosovo, then we can impose sanctions on Russia. But if we are not ready, then we cannot do it. How will we defend Kosovo without an ally? I did not notice that we have got a new ally. Sanctions against Russia will not harm Russia, but Serbia. Russia 'survived' the sanctions of Montenegro, it would survive Serbian sanctions as well," Dačić said.
Dačić also referred to the fact that Pristina did not allow Belgrade to organize elections in Kosovo and Metohija.
"They say from the EU that they regret the news from Pristina that elections in Kosovo cannot be organized. If the West can't do anything to Kurti, then how can Serbia? It would be a great precedent to impose sanctions on Serbia because we refuse to impose sanctions on Russia. I believe that it is in the West's interest not to lose Serbia on the European path", he stressed.
Dačić said that the elections in Kosovo and Metohija could have been organized, but that would give an excuse to the Pristina police to carry out the action, while Belgrade would be accused.
"This is not a victory for Pristina. Just to make things clear, we could organize the elections without any problems, but that would be used as an alibi for the police to intervene in the north of Kosovo, there would be incidents and someone could accuse Belgrade of something like that. Our primary interest in preserving peace. But this is an obvious example that Kurti absolutely does not respect either the Brussels Agreement or the international community. However, this is one indication that the international community does not want to position itself in such a way as to force Pristina to comply with the Brussels Agreement", Dačić added.
Dačić pointed out that Serbia is under great pressure, because there are those who will say that Belgrade must impose sanctions on Russia or its path to the EU will be stopped.
"If so, then why doesn't someone tell Pristina - either you will allow voting, implement the Brussels agreement, or this is the end of your European expectations. There is more pressure on us. Why? Because Pristina is their child," Dačić pointed out.
Speaking about the current situation in Ukraine and the idea of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Belgrade could be a place for negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv, Dačić said that this would not be the first time that Belgrade was a meeting place for dialogue. "Serbia is ready for such a meeting, it would be an honor for us. This shows that Serbia is a country that pursues a sovereign and independent foreign policy, takes into account the interest of our country and the position of our country in the world," he said.
Dačić says that he does not know what the war goals of both sides are. "I know that all sides have violated the ceasefire before. Kyiv's goals were to hold that whole part, the Donbas region, and members of the Donetsk and Lugansk militias were against it. I don't know what Moscow's war goals are, but I'm skeptical that it could be the conquest of Kyiv. I believe it is more to support the DNR and LNR to preserve the independence they themselves have declared," he added.
Dačić compared the current situation to the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. "The West should now deny what it supported in Kosovo, by denying independence to Donetsk and Lugansk. We are hit by double standards. They want to say that it was okay to bomb us, civilian casualties were collateral damage to them", Dačić concluded.