Vucic: Zeman and I condemn Russian invasion of Ukraine

Tanjug / AP / Darko Vojinović

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Monday that both he and outgoing Czech President Milos Zeman condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Both of us condemn the Russian incursion into Ukraine and respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” Vucic told a joint news conference with Zeman. He added the Serbia is unique in Europe in not having imposed sanctions on Russia which, he said, is easily explained considering Serbia’s problems with its own territorial integrity and its experience with sanctions.

Vucic voiced satisfaction with having met Zeman face to face. “I am happy to be able to greet Zeman. What he said two years ago is in the hearts of our citizens and I know hardly any president in Europe who is as popular as Zeman is in Serbia,” he said. Zeman is the only head of state or government of a NATO member who apologized to Serbia for the 1999 air campaign which he approved as Czech Prime Minister at the time.

“I see that the word peace is banned in the world … replaced with victory of one over the other… Peace can’t be mentioned anywhere,” Vucic said. The Serbian President said that cooperation between the two countries’ defense industries is good and added that Serbia won’t sell weapons to Ukraine or Russia.

Zeman voiced gratitude to Vucic who said that a street in Belgrade would be named after the Czech president. “Two years ago, during Vucic’s visit, I said that I apologize for the fact that Czechia gave approval for NATO planes to cross its territory to bomb FR Yugoslavia. I asked for forgiveness the only time in my life,” he said.

“I appreciate the fact that Serbia condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine. We can’t allow country to attack its neighbor for no reason,” Zeman said. He added that he told Vuic China could play a role in establishing peace in Ukraine as well as Turkey.