ZAGREB, 7 May, 2021- Serbia wants to have good and fair relations with all neighbouring countries but Croatia’s actions and statements by its officials are not expressions of respect for Serbia but an attempt to humiliate it, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on Friday.
In a comment on the statement by Croatia’s foreign minister that Croatia would increase the number of its troops in the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) because that was important for maintaining peace in the region and on disputes triggered by Serbian Minister of the Interior Aleksandar Vulin’s statements, Vučić said that Croatia could have refused to serve in KFOR but opted to do the contrary “in order to additionally humiliate Serbia.”
Croatia’s Foreign and European Affairs Ministry stated earlier in the day that Serbia’s strong reaction to the planned deployment of a greater number of Croatian troops in Kosovo was “a hysterical speculation” intended to divert attention from the introduction of the Bunjevci dialect as an official language in the northern Serbian town of Subotica, which it considers an attempt to fragment the Croat community in Serbia.
The Serbian president today wondered “why anyone would need to participate in the KFOR mission or brag about it”, alluding to Croatia’s involvement in the international peace mission.
“They could have refused to take part in KFOR, but they intentionally made that decision to additionally humiliate Serbia. We get the message,” Vučić told Serbian reporters during a visit to Obrenovac.
In a message to Serbs in Kosovo, he said that they “should not worry” and that he would soon talk with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels, stressing Serbia’s commitment to avoid conflicts and maintain peace.
“My message to all those who think that there will be new Storms, new pogroms and expulsions – I guarantee that that will not happen,” Vučić said in reference to the 1995 Croatian military and police operation that liberated areas previously held by local Serbs who rebelled against the Croatian authorities.