Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Tuesday that joint exercises with NATO and Russia are a way to “preserve our independence and sovereignty”.
Speaking on the pro-government Happy TV, he said that Serbia’s position of military neutrality is the best possible one in a situation when the US as the world’s top military power, followed Russia and China while Europe is economically the most powerful force but has no military might.
“In conditions when everyone around us are arming themselves, the important thing is to take care of ourselves, to strengthen our military, to have a decent relationship with NATO and not allow a repeat of 1999 but we must not forget the terrible emotions our people understandably feel towards NATO,” Vucic said.
Speaking about the NATO air campaign of 1999, the president said that the country’s leadership at the time had to have been much more serious and responsible, adding that “there is not doubt that aggression was committed” and that this was “a crime which pushed the region backwards”.
Vucic said the chances of an agreement with the Kosovo Albanians are much lower than before. Pristina won’t continue the dialogue with Belgrade during the term in office of the current European administration.
“Pristina will never be able to do anything anywhere without an agreement with Belgrade. I am not an optimist but we don’t have to reach an agreement this year or next, it can come in five years,” the president said.
Vucic denied the existence of a 17 point plan to change the borders of Kosovo and added that no one wants a solution based on the two Germanys model. “The Albanians don’t even want to hear that, they doubt that Russia will accept it at the UN and that even we have accepted it,” he said.