BELGRADE – We cannot hope for better relations between Serbia and Croatia without a change in the policy pursued by Croatia, which does not recognise Serb victims and now openly advocates a resurgence of Ustashism, Serbian Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Affairs Aleksandar Vulin said Friday.

Since Croatia is acquitting war criminals and no one has been held to account for crimes against Serbs, it is very difficult to hope for better relations between the two countries, Vulin said after laying a wreath at a memorial to the victims of the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

“When you lay wreaths in Bleiburg, start talking about Jasenovac as some kind of labour camp for a few hundred or thousand people, when you beatify Aloysius Stepinac and make the entire history of Serbs in Croatia portray them as aggressors, it is very difficult to hope our relations will be better,” Vulin said.

Primarily for the sake of ethnic Serbs in Croatia, Serbia will try to ensure the relations are the best they can be, and it will insist on Serb rights, Vulin said.

“That does not only depend on us. It takes two for peace and just one for conflict;” Vulin said.

In the 21 years since the criminal “Operation Storm”, the fundamental rights of Croatia’s Serbs have been disregarded, while those expelled have not returned because Croatia does not want them to, Vulin said.

On August 4-9, 1995, Croatia’s military and police operation “Storm” saw between 200,000 and 340,000 ethnic Serbs driven out of the country.