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Djuric: Serbia facing a severe ultimatum

October 05, 2016.

Marko Djuric, the Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija said today that when it comes to Kosovo and Metohija, a heavy and serious ultimatum was placed before Serbia, because we are asked to renounce the property of Telekom Serbia in the province, while adding that Belgrade has until Sunday to make a decision on whether it accepts or not the “grotesque draft agreement on telecommunications”.

Marko Djurić

Djuric told reporters that he is deeply convinced this ultimatum is unacceptable, and that, as a negotiator and a Serb he cannot accept for Serbia to give up its property in Kosovo and Metohija, announcing that, if the government, which he supports without reserve, decides otherwise, he will be forced to leave the post of chief negotiator with Pristina and the Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija.

“We are asked to give up our property when it comes to telecommunications, and something ever worse, by giving up our property when it comes to Telekom Srbija, to agree that all of our property in Kosovo and Metohija is not ours but that it belongs to the institutions of the self-proclaimed, illegal, fraudulent state in Pristina”, Djuric said.

According to him, serious and difficult discussions were carried out in the government on how to proceed in this regard.

“Although we all fought together for our arguments to prevail in talks with EU and Pristina representatives, I am convinced that these conditions are not acceptable”, Djuric said.

The Belgrade delegation, led by Marko Djuric, held talks last week with Pristina in Brussels on the implementation of the Agreement on telecommunications, and Djuric said that “something very strange happened” when literally overnight, from Thursday to Friday, “a completely different paper stood before us on the table”.

“The conditions have fundamentally changed. It is obvious that an outsider, someone who is neither EU nor Pristina, intervened to make these talks unsuccessful, to maybe reach a different political goal and put pressure on Serbia , different from the pressure we were exposed to on other issues”, Djuric said.

The Director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija said that our country is faced with a request to accept such outrageous and intolerable conditions, to accept seizing our property and the property of Telekom Srbija, to disable normal communication, which would constitute a precedent and replicate such a model to the issue of energy.

“Following the same model, they would take away Gazivode from us and other electrical energy resources and other social and state property. Therefore, either we accept it the way it was offered or nothing will come out of European integration, there will be no continuation with the opening of chapters and everything else, that can be very clearly seen from the subtext”, Djuric said.

He added that for us such a dilemma in itself is unacceptable, and that for him personally it would be an unacceptable choice where we would eventually decide to throw away something which is of our vital national and state interest because of something elusive.

When asked when and who sent such an ultimatum to Serbia, Djuric said this was happening in the last two or three days, as a direct part of talks conducted in Brussels and talks held by the President of the Government recently with various international officials.

“In the upcoming days, the Government will talk more on this, we talked about it this morning, and I told you the very heavy personal dilemmas I have, but certainly I would never trample my conscience or state interest, by remaining firmly with what is the policy of the government and Aleksandar Vucic and Serbian Progressive Party, which I know has always been like that and can remain as such”, Djuric said.

He believes that the fact Serbia was given until Sunday to decide on whether it accepts or not the grotesque draft agreement by which the property of Telekom Srbija would be transferred to Pristina and the agreement stipulating that the signal would not be covering the entire territory of Kosovo and Metohija, but furthermore, would not even be as it is in this very moment, which would ended in degradation of the position of our citizens, leaving property of Serbia permanently alienated from us.

“Should this result in Serbia accepting these, in my opinion, outrageous conditions, that is, if the government accepts this, knowing that by doing this I would not promote in the slightest the position of the Prime Minister who also bears the big pressure of this burden, I as someone who had counseled him the most that we cannot accept such conditions, would not be able to stay here and would not be able to continue performing my duties”, declared Djuric.

As he put it, he stated this as someone who supports and who will always be supporting Aleksandar Vucic, both his position of the Prime Minister and the president of the Serbian Progressive Party, where he has post of one of the vice-presidents.

“Serbia is faced with difficult challenge and difficult exam. We have to fight in order to gain the best possible conditions in Kosovo and Metohija for our people so that they could survive there. We have to protect, no matter the pressure, our state and national property in Kosovo and Metohija. I believe that we cannot do that by accepting unprincipled ultimatums”, deemed Djuric.

According to his words, when we ask the EU representatives or Pristina representatives what we would gain as a state or a nation by accepting such draft agreement, we get only silence in turn.

“When we say that we do not need such an agreement, let us leave it as it is, let us avoid changing it, they again answer with silence. The real answer does not exist”, added Djuric.

Ethnically motivated incidents in Kosovo and Metohija, 2021 Negotiation process with Pristina Operational Factsheet
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