Vučević:“Serbia is ready to reach a compromise about Kosovo“

Serbia’s new government is prepared to make “compromises” over Kosovo, Prime Minister Milos Vučević told AFP during a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday.

Since taking office in May, Vučević has helped Serbia tread a delicate diplomatic line, as Belgrade simultaneously seeks to join the European Union, secure its place in future energy markets, and remain on friendly terms with both the East and West.

Ahead of a high-profile meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti in Brussels on Wednesday, Vučević assured AFP that Belgrade was ready to negotiate despite a recent flaring of tensions between the neighbours.

“We are ready to make agreements and compromises, compromises that mean neither side is an absolute winner or an absolute loser,” said Vučević, who took office in May.

“Anything else is not and cannot have long-term sustainability,” added the former defence minister, who also spent a decade as mayor of Novi Sad.

Commenting on recent media reports that Serbia exported EUR 800-mln worth of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, Vučević said the following:” “I don’t want to prevent (Serbian) companies from selling our ammunition to Spain, the Czech Republic, the United States… because that is not prohibited and it is not immoral for us to produce weapons and ammunition which, unfortunately, are also used where there is war.”

On the domestic front, Vučević has also had his hands full, after inheriting an ongoing dispute over the future of a controversial lithium mine in western Serbia.

Debate over the safety of the project sparked mass demonstrations in late 2021 that forced authorities to halt the project, even as officials hinted it could be kick-started again with the proper oversight.

Earlier this month, Australian mining giant Rio Tinto released an eagerly anticipated environmental impact report on the mine, which holds one of Europe’s largest reserves of lithium — a strategically valuable metal crucial for electric vehicle battery production.

The premier said mining has long been an engine of the country’s development but insisted that any future project must face rigorous scrutiny to ensure that no environmental damage is caused by the mine.

“We will never allow anyone to destroy Serbia’s rivers, fields, lakes, forests, meadows, mountains and plains,” said Vučević.

“But we will also not give up on something that could be a strong economic potential and motor for Serbia’s development in the future,” he added.

(Blic, 25.06.2024)čević-o-kosovu-srbija-spremna-na-kompromis-ali-tako-da-nema-apsolutnog-pobednika-i/yq15ltq

This post is also available in: Italiano

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