March 2, 2022
Speaker of the National Assembly, Ivica Dačić, says that Serbia has no interest in conducting policy in accordance with the interests of the West and the East, but in accordance with its own interests.
According to Dacic, the one who wants us to impose sanctions on Russia is not against Russia, but against Serbia.
“We are now in a situation where we are expected to side with someone. Everyone starts from their own interests. It is logical that Serbia starts from its own interests. We have no interest in pursuing a policy in line with the expectations of East and West. I fully respect what they say from Brussels, but the obligation to align with EU policies should be gradual to the point of accession,” Dacic told RTS.
Dacic asked when it is going to happen, will Serbia join the EU tomorrow?
“Are they guaranteeing our accession to the EU tomorrow? No, but in 10, 15, 20 years. We will align our foreign policy in 15, 20 years,” he said. On the other hand, will they withdraw the recognition of Kosovo and Metohija? Will they stop violating the territorial integrity of Serbia, and not force Serbia to impose sanctions against the country that protects Serbia’s state and national interests?” Dacic asked.
“In that sense, we start from our interests and we have no interest in a policy in line with the interests of east or west, but only in line with our state interests,” he said.
Dacic said that Serbia acknowledges the EU view on respect for the principle of territorial integrity, adding that the fact that Russia violated the territorial integrity of Ukraine is not good.
“We respect all the victims. Ukraine is collateral damage. Are any of those who are so hypocritically asking Serbia to join in everything they say, were any of them affected when they hit the RTS building just as it affects them now to hear the fact that the television tower in Ukraine was hit? Were they affected by civilian victims of children in Serbia, hospitals? Well, it seems that the hospital in Kharkiv now hurts American citizens more than Serbian victims back then?” Dacic asked.
Dacic stated that this “hypocrisy is inadmissible and unacceptable for Serbia.” According to him, the one who wants us to impose sanctions on Russia is not against Russia, but against Serbia.
“Tomorrow they will ask for Kosovo to join NATO, tomorrow they will ask for Kosovo to join the UN. And who will we turn to? Russia. If we impose sanctions on them, we have no one to turn to. Give us back the principle of territorial integrity, cancel the recognition of Kosovo, and we will be ready to talk,” said Dacic.
He states that Albania has 100% aligned its policy with the EU policy, and they did not even get the start of negotiations.
“Aleksandar Vučić is under great pressure, but as it was at the session of the National Security Council, at the Government, and in our address, we stand for the principle of territorial integrity, we believe that it is not good that Ukraine’s territorial integrity has been violated, but we are witnesses that the same people who are now attacking Russia have violated our territorial integrity and bombed this country. The aggression against Serbia cannot be called ‘Angels of Mercy’, while calling this Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine at the same time. There is something wrong with [these] moral principles,” Dacic said.
Dacic noted that we are not “pawns of the East or the West”.
“We have died for the sake of others in the past. We need to take care of our interests,” Dacic points out. EU and Quint Ambassadors, who carry slogans about territorial integrity, are telling Serbia that they cannot influence [Kosovo Prime Minister Albin] Kurti, Dacic added.
“Kurti is a superpower, like Putin. Kurti is the one who can forbid Serbs to vote in Kosovo and Metohija. And Quint, NATO and others cannot influence. How long will your lies endure? That is brutal hypocrisy towards Serbia and no one can do that. We are pursuing a policy in our own interest. We cannot cut the branch we are sitting on,” Dacic said.
Dacic said that he was sorry that this was happening in Ukraine, because it was about the fraternal people. “Serbia is being asked to express itself, to impose sanctions on Russia. When Hitler entered Ukraine, the United States did not declare war. I will remind you that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June, and the United States was neutral and [only] declared war on Hitler when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor [in December],” Dacic said.
No great power, Dacic points out, will allow, for example, NATO to reach the Kremlin walls.
“We sympathize with all the suffering. We defend the principle of territorial integrity, but we must take care of our interests. If you think of imposing sanctions on Russia now, it means that Kosovo will be admitted to the United Nations,” Dacic said.