Political analysts: Vucic’s speech in Kosovska Mitrovica brought nothing new

In his speech given in Kosovska Mitrovica, which north part is mainly Serb-populated, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that it was his obligation to confirm that Serbia would always be with its people in Kosovo and Metohija, good and bad.

“We still do not have any proposed solutions, we are not even close to it, but we have an obligation to talk”, Vucic said, referring to the talks between Serbia and Kosovo. He underlined that somebody would have to reach an agreement with the Albanians in the next ten or twenty years because that was the prerequisite for the survival of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.

The President also reminded of Slobodan Milosevic’s speech Gazimestan some 30 years ago, with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance, because, he says, Milosevic was then powerful enough to gather so many people in one place.

“The Serbs died fighting for Knin, Sarajevo and Pristina, but today, there are fewer Serbs there than ever before”, Vucic reminded.

“We (Serbs) are not there not because the others were stronger and smarter, but because we did not realize that we were not alone in the world and we cannot exist without the world,” Vucic said.

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Vucic calls Milosevic “a great Serbian leader” with good intentions and bad results. He adds that it wasn’t Milosevic’s plan to have such bad results, but that his wishes were not realistic and that he completely suppressed the interests and desires of other nationalities.

“We only listened and cared about ourselves, and had no interest in others, which is why we paid such a high price”, Vucic underlined and added:”My and our idea for tomorrow and for the future of Serbia and the Serbs is to preserve our people, to safeguard the country, to maintain peace and to try to establish bridges of trust, as well as to strive for an agreement, even when we know it is impossible. I want to believe that, after centuries of war and conflicts, we can have centuries of decent relations with the Albanians.  I would like to thank everyone in Europe and the world who understand the importance of our conversation. There is no shortcut to better life, for us or for them. We have to live together and that’s why we will talk and negotiate. ”

The President noted that he came to Kosovo and Metohija with an investment plan for ten Serb municipalities in Kosovo and Metohija.

Vucic also pointed out every new school and hospital would be the proof the Serbian authorities had done the right thing.

In the analysis of Vucic’s visit to Kosovo and Metohija, journalists and political analysts agree that he did not say anything new, essentially, i.e. that the President of Serbia did not say anything that we did not know so far.

Part of the public was expecting to hear in Kosovska Mitrovica some news about the solution for the Kosovo issue, but that did not happen – journalist Zoran Panovic and political analyst Djordje Vukadinovic say.

“We have nothing politically tangible, and we are talking about an issue that was at the centre of the political life in the past months and engagement with international political actors,” Panovic said.

“He did not say literally anything new. All he did was to say something that we already knew but in a more political way. He just used a better rhetoric, more attractively packaged,” Vukadinovic said.

The two analysts also estimate that after Vucic’s long-awaited speech, he continues with exercising his frozen conflict policy.

“You could literally bet on what the concrete proposal would be – demarcation, border changes, the North Kosovo or Albanian-populated municipalities in South Serbia – but nothing about that was talked about”, Panovic adds.

A journalist from the Crno-Beli Svet website, Sonja Sovrlic assesses that Vucic’s speech in North Kosovska Mitrovica was not that “explosive“ as his previous speeches and that he still failed to provide the answer to the key questions.

“I think this visit was purposefully prepared to put emphasis on issues that pertain to everyday life and the things that bother our citizens, but plenty of promises given for which we really don’t know if they are going to be fulfilled and what strategies are going to be used to fulfil them”, she said.

Vukadinovic thinks that Vucic actually “exonerated himself from responsibility”. “He divided the blame for the failure of resolving the Kosovo issue between Emperor Lazar, Milosevic and the present opposition, who was in power in 2000,” Vukadinovic said.

In summing up Vucic’s visit to Kosovo and Metohija, journalist Idro Seferi says that nothing suggests that the historic agreement between Belgrade and Pristina is indeed possible in the near future.

(RTS, N1, 09.09.2018)



Photo credits: Tanjug / Zoran Zestic



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