BELGRADE – Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic has said that Serbs will not be silent about fascist and Ustasha crimes.

Stefanovic told Tanjug that he had only one message for the newly-appointed leader of Croatia’s HDZ party, Andrej Plenkovic: “To tell his mom and dad to be silent, while Serbs will never be silent about fascists and Ustasha crimes.”

Stefanovic also asked “who has a right to be silent and not mention the hundreds of thousands of victims killed by the Ustasha-Nazi Croatia (NDH) which during the Second World War conducted a policy that also had (death) camps for children.”

“To that kind of behavior, to the crimes against Serbs and the Serbian people, Serbia will be never be silent,” said the minister in Serbia’s caretaker government, from the ruling SNS party.

Speaking earlier, Plenkovic said that “Croatia, which is an EU member, will not allow Serbia, which is only a candidate for EU membership, to lecture it.”

He also said that Serbia’s EU integration was “only at the beginning,” and described the neighboring country as a state “whose regime, that of Milosevic, carried out an aggression on the territory of Croatia.”

Asked by reporters to comment on the initiative of the Serb National Council in Croatia to mark one day in memory of the victims of Croatia’s military-police Operation Storm, that started this day in 1995, Plenkovic said that his party “expresses respect toward all victims, especially those who died during the occupation of Croatia from 1991 until 1995, but of course we also regret all civilian victims that happened during and after Storm.”