Vucic on EP recommendation on Serbia: The dog that is idle barks at his fleas

Tanjug/ Rade Prelić

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that the media wrongly reported that the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution based on which Serbia is to align with the European Union’s (EU) foreign policy regarding the war in Ukraine or it will be denied EU funds and stressed that MEPs did not adopt a Resolution, but recommendations.

Vucic criticized the media for failing to report that the recommendations include one that calls for Serbia’s and Kosovo’s mutual recognition.

“If the request of 79 percent of MEPs is for us to recognize independent Kosovo and that this be the most important recommendation, that only confirms what I said – if we were to impose sanctions on Russia, they would pat us on the back tomorrow, and then a new resolution on the need to recognize Kosovo would surface the day after,” said Vucic.

He said he spoke many times with Brussels on Wednesday evening, adding: “I was not particularly upset by their recommendation, the dog that is idle barks at his fleas, as the saying goes. I thank them for their care, but we are not interested in mutual recognition with Pristina,” said the Serbian President.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said she did not expect the European Commission to act on the latest EP recommendations on Serbia, adding that they do not have the force of a resolution.
The recommendations calls for Serbia to impose sanctions on Russia and for mutual recognition with the “so-called Kosovo,” said Brnabic, stressing that this is not in Serbia’s interest “or in line with international law or the UN SC Resolution 1244.”

Repeatedly stressing that the EP document is not a resolution, Vucic said the essence of the text is more important and that it is not just about sanctions against Russia.

“When reading it to you, to the whole nation, they skipped the part on us having to recognize independent Kosovo, so I am asking all those people who want to talk about the European Parliament’s good will, why did you hide this, why don’t we tell the people about everything they are asking us to do, and what they are asking for is far more difficult than the imposing of sanctions – what they are asking from us is mutual recognition,” said the Serbian President.

Vucic said a part of the political and media public is hiding this because “it would be clear to the people what those MEPs really want for Serbia,” and then they would understand Serbia’s position better.

We will continue to listen to what they are telling us, and we will make decisions with respect for our people, said the President.

The European Parliament adopted a recommendation on Wednesday to continue accession talks with Serbia only if it aligns with the European Union sanctions policy against Russia and makes significant progress on the EU-related reforms. The same conditions are stipulated for the approval of EU funds for Serbia.