“The basic task of the future government will be to consolidate Serbia’s position in a world full of challenges, the greatest so far and much more demanding than we could have imagined two years ago, in order to maintain the country’s stability and continue growth and development. The top priority will be energy, boosting our economy, investing in science and education, the fight for Kosovo and Metohija, the continuation on the European accession path, but also the strengthening of the partnership with all partners, both east and west” – these are the basic guidelines of the future government’s policy that Prime Minister Ana Brnabić outlined yesterday, in her speech in front of the Serbian Parliament, in which she also presented the new government ministers.
“In constant consultation and in the closest possible cooperation with President Aleksandar Vučić, the Serbian government has an obligation, in these difficult times, to preserve and defend the country’s independence, conduct an independent policy and constantly keep our national interests in mind. We want to become an EU member and we will work on this, but at the same time, we ask everyone to show respect for our territorial integrity as an internationally recognised country, just as today, in a completely correct manner, we defend the territorial integrity of other internationally recognised countries”, Brnabić said and added: “We call for the principles of international law to be respected indiscriminately, as well as the UN Charter, and for all UN Security Council resolutions to be consistently respected and implemented. We remain a country that has an unwavering principled stance on these issues.”
The PM then stated that the struggle for territorial integrity continues, noting that eight countries have withdrawn their recognition of Kosovo in the past two years.
“We remain committed to dialogue with Pristina, but before any agreement on further normalization of relations is reached, the Brussels Agreement must be fully implemented and the Association of Serbian Municipalities (ZSO) must be established. Despite all the problems and many disagreements on important issues, we will continue to work on the European integration of Serbia, because Serbia belongs to the family of European nations and countries. We have heard for a long time that the most important thing for our integration is to make significant progress in the area of the rule of law. Today we clearly understand the EU’s messages that further progress depends on two issues:
- whether we will immediately align ourselves with the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, i.e. impose sanctions on Russia.
- how quickly and in what way a final agreement on normalization of relations can be reached with Pristina – in itself quite cynical because even today, almost 10 years after the signing of the Brussels Agreement, the implementation of which is guaranteed by the EU, Pristina has not implemented the very core of that agreement, i.e. the establishment of the ZSOs.”
The Prime Minister also announced that the country can count on new energy capacities as early as next year – the construction of the B3 block of the Kostolac B thermal power plant is nearing completion, the construction of the gas interconnection with Bulgaria continues, as does the Buk Bijela hydroelectric power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The construction of the reversible hydroelectric power plants Bistrica and Đerdap 3 is also underway, and one of the government’s priorities will be the construction of an oil pipeline to Hungary.
“We will invest around EUR 12 billion in the new energy policy of the Republic of Serbia in the coming years under the auspices of the Serbia 2025 development plan,” the PM said and continued:”Further increasing the competitiveness and productivity of our economy, continuing capital investments in road and rail infrastructure and maintaining the trend of continuous growth in wages and pensions, doing all this in a fiscally responsible manner, while keeping the public debt under 60 per cent of our GDP. This is a way to achieve the set goal whereby the average salary in Serbia should be EUR 1,000 and the average pension EUR 500 by 2026.”
“To achieve this goal, we need to do everything to preserve peace and stability in these areas. Political stability has allowed us to fight for national interests. If we had not achieved this level of political and economic stability, there would not even be the Serbia 2025 plan, we would not be able to rebuild our army, make sovereign decisions on the future of our people, protect our cultural and historical heritage, and make plans to promote parenthood and family care. We will continue to work on the Open Balkans initiative and hope that Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina will join us soon. The initiative is also open to Pristina, as it will ensure dialogue on the most important issues for the quality of life of all people in this area, and thus on the security of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija”, Brnabić concluded.
(Večernje Novosti, 26.10.2022)
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