Difficult days await Serbia: President

There are direct threats to ‘vital national interests,’ says Aleksandar Vucic

Talha Ozturk  | 27.03.2024 - Update : 27.03.2024
Difficult days await Serbia: President


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warned Wednesday that difficult days await his country and said that he would soon inform the nation about the challenges.

''Difficult days are ahead of Serbia. At this moment, it is not easy to say what kind of news we have received in the last 48 hours,'' said Vucic on social media, but indicated there are related to direct threats to Serbia's national interest.

''They directly threaten our vital national interests, both Serb and Republika Srpska,'' said Vucic. Republika Srpska in one of two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Vucic has made similar remarks in the past when the EU and the US pressured him and the Serbian government to recognize Kosovo's independence and allow the country's integration into international organizations.

Defense Minister Milos Vucevic told Serbian Radio Television (RTS) that Kosovo's application for membership in the Council of Europe will be discussed at a meeting Wednesday.

Vucevic argued that the application violated all international rules.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Political Affairs and Democracy Committee will meet Wednesday with just one item on its agenda: Kosovo's application for membership in the Council.

Kosovo, which declared unilateral independence from Serbia in 2008, officially applied for Council of Europe membership on May 12, 2022, after Russia was removed from Council membership.

The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe announced May 24, 2023, that it approved Kosovo's request for membership and forwarded it to PACE, and an opinion on the application was prepared by PACE experts.

Meanwhile, Kosovo's latest move targeting the use of the Serbian dinar in the country has sparked a new dispute in the region.

Kosovo adopted the euro for cash payment transactions on Feb. 1 despite concerns by ethnic Serbs in the north.

The central bank announced the decision Jan. 18 and said currencies other than the euro can only be used in Kosovo for physical safekeeping or bank accounts.

The decision triggered outrage because ethnic Serb communities in Kosovo had been using the dinar, the official currency of neighboring Serbia, at state and commercial institutions. Many local Serbs have an attachment or even allegiance to Serbia.

The parties held a series of meetings in Brussels as part of the dialogue process between Belgrade and Pristina.

But a final solution or decision has yet to come out of the meetings.

Western countries, including the US, France, Italy, Germany and the UK, have urged Kosovo to halt the implementation of the currency regulation.

Many countries, including Türkiye, recognized Kosovo after it declared independence. But Belgrade has never recognized Kosovo and claims it is still part of neighboring Serbia.

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