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27 Mar, 2024 10:10

‘Difficult days ahead for Serbia’ – Vucic

The country’s president is expected to meet Western diplomats to discuss Kosovo’s bid to join the Council of Europe
‘Difficult days ahead for Serbia’ – Vucic

Serbia is facing several extremely difficult days, President Aleksandar Vucic has said, adding that the country’s national interests are at stake. The Balkan nation has consistently opposed efforts by its breakaway province of Kosovo to join international bodies, but the region has recently made headway in this respect.

The Serbian leader posted a cryptic message on Instagram on Wednesday, warning that “difficult days are ahead for Serbia,” and that “at this moment, it is not easy to say what kind of news we have received in the last 48 hours.”

The developments “directly threaten the vital national interests of both Serbia and [Republika] Srpska,” Vucic noted, without providing further details, saying only that he would introduce his fellow citizens to the challenges ahead in the coming days. 

Republika Srpska is a partially autonomous Serb-dominated region within Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“It will be hard… We will fight, Serbia will win,” Vucic added.

While it’s unclear what Vucic was referring to, he is poised to meet with senior diplomats from the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy on Wednesday, according to Pink.rs website. The agenda for the meeting is expected to revolve around Kosovo’s application to join the Council of Europe, an international human rights watchdog.

According to Pink, Vucic “will not miss the opportunity to repeat… that it was a perfidious move that also has symbolic weight since it was made on the very day that was written in black letters in the collective memory of Serbs.”

The outlet was referring to the 25th anniversary of the start of NATO’s bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia over what the bloc called “disproportionate use of force” against an ethnic Albanian insurgency in Kosovo.

Also up for discussion will reportedly be the decision of the Permanent Commission of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly to elevate the breakaway region of Kosovo to the status of associate member. A final decision on the matter is expected in late May.

Meanwhile, Radio Sarajevo has suggested that the Serbian president was reacting to the decision of the high representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Christian Schmidt, to change the country’s election law. The Office of the High Representative is an international organization that oversees the 1995 Dayton Agreement, which put an end to a bloody war in the Balkan nation.

Schmidt said on Tuesday that he would use his authority to introduce digital voting reforms as part of a pilot project in the country.

The move was met with pushback from Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik, who said Schmidt had nothing to do with the electoral process, adding that it “belongs to the people living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”