Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic said late on Saturday that a European country provided information on an assassination plan against him with names of people involved and other details, playing down the seriousness of the threat.
Speaking to the pro-regime Pink TV inside a Stadler’s train, which Serbia recently bought, at what was announced as „an exclusive location,“ he said: „I don’t want to panic… it’s (the assassination) not easy to do. Those stories serve politicians and journalists. It’s easier for them to talk about that than about such train… more clicks,“ Vucic said.
Vucic added he saw some seven names from different countries.
„The information is very precise,“ Vucic said, adding he had never met any of the people mentioned.
He added he only read it and had nothing to say about it. „That’s the job for the institutions.“
On Friday, Aleksandar Vulin, Serbia’s Interior Minister, said that a criminal group led by a Montenegrin national planned to assassinate Vucic, adding information from partner services and Europol.
Hours after Vulin’s statement, Vucic published a message on his Instagram profile, saying: „Surrender is not an option. We will win over them all. Together.“
Vucic again confirmed he would not lead his ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) in the future and added he had not yet decided whether to run for the second presidential term.
Earlier on Saturday, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabic told pro-regime Prva TV that on January 14, EUROPOL informed the Government that the assassination of Vucic was prepared for the first half of February.
She said that was just one of such threats to Vucic in a row, but this was the most serious, confirming that his security had been strengthened.
„But it doesn’t mean anything to me if we don’t prevent it and catch those people earlier; if we don’t stop them from entering Serbia or their hideouts in Serbia, then I don’t believe in any personal security. Because if you want to kill someone, you can kill them. So we have to prevent them that much earlier, „Brnabic said, stating that foreign services were helping them.
In the meantime, two opposition leaders received death threats.
In response to her tweet in which she revealed that the Rio Tinto, the Anglo-Australian company which with Serbia’s Government cut all the ties after several environmental protests against lithium mining across the country, was sent from the Government’s e-mail, a deputy leader of the Party of Freedom and Justice (SSP) Marinika Tepic and her children received death threats via Twitter, from a seemingly false account.
The SSP leader Dragan Djilas received the tweet reading: “Nobody did anything wrong to you, all you do is lie, all of you deserve a bullet, which is what you’ll get.”