Source: B92 Thursday, June 18, 2020

After the meeting In the Presidency of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic and the head of Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, addressed the journalists. Main topic – Kosovo

“Today, we discussed all important topics of bilateral relations with our most important economic partners. I believe that we can do a lot more together and improve our friendly relations,” Vucic said.

“As president, I was additionally worried about the solutions of the Kosovo-Metohija crisis. I do not want to deceive anyone, it is obvious that an extremely difficult period awaits us in order for some plans to be realized,” the President of Serbia said.

“We will have to be extremely careful and attentive when it comes to any idea that is presented to us,” he added. The President of Serbia said that the state respects everyone who participates in the negotiations, but that it must appreciate its friends.

He especially emphasized that “difficult times” await the state. “I want to tell our people: Hard times are ahead of us, but we must be united. These are perhaps the most difficult times since the recognition of Kosovo 12 years ago,” Vucic said.

Vucic added that the visit of the President of Russia on the occasion of the completion of the works in the Temple of Saint Sava will especially mean a lot to the Serbian people, but also to the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that he was satisfied with the negotiations and cooperation with Serbia.

“The problem of Kosovo remains unresolved and Russia believes that the EU must not isolate itself from its obligations and must fulfill them fairly and fight for the realization of those solutions and agreements that have already been reached – the agreement on the community of Serbian municipalities, which is now sabotaged on the side of Pristina”, Lavrov said.

“We will support all initiatives that will help Belgrade and Pristina reach an agreement. At the suggestion of Russia, the territorial integrity of Serbia is confirmed in Resolution 1244,” the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs added.

Journalists asked Lavrov what attitude Russia would have if Serbia accepted an EU offer, for example to give the green light to Kosovo to “go further”, in exchange for significant financial assistance and EU integration, Lavrov said the question should be posed to Serbia, not him.

“We are aware of the position of Serbia and the Serbian leadership, as well as that Belgrade will be guided by the national interests of its state and its people,” Lavrov answered briefly, followed by the answer of the President of Serbia.

“In a polite way, he answered you politely that this is a question for us, not for our Russian friends. If I need to be clear and unambiguous, when it comes to the question of whether we will say that we agree to recognize Kosovo in exchange for the EU membership, our answer is no.

“It will not be an easy situation for us,” Vucic added, and reminded of the active diplomatic campaign regarding the issue of resolving the status of Kosovo in the coming days. “On every Vivodvdan, things become clear” he concluded.