Aleksandar Vulin says that Moscow’s readiness to engage in Belgrade’s dialogue with Pristina – if the format changes – changes everything.
According to the Serbian defense minister, “this actually means the return of the United Nations to the negotiations.”
Vulin also said that Serbia was “under great pressure from Albanians who are trying to impose the United States as participants in the dialogue.”
He recalled that the EU is involved in the dialogue as an intermediary – “this format is acceptable to Serbia and there is no need for anything to change.”
“The possibility of Russia entering these talks is a significant, dramatic change, because they would be a country on the other side that did not recognize KiM (Kosovo and Metohija), and would behave accordingly. This speaks about a changed Serbia, a personal relationship of trust that Vladimir Putin has with Aleksandar Vucic,” Vulin told RTS.
He said that when former president and foreign minister Boris Tadic and Vuk Jeremic were in power, Serbia went in the UN with a resolution sponsored by Russia, and came out with one backed by the EU.
“We threw the UN out of the dialogue, and introduced EULEX. If Moscow joins the dialogue, this will be the return of the UN, i.e. the return of those countries that have not recognized Kosovo,” Vulin stressed.
He reiterated that Serbia is satisfied with the current format, but that if someone wants to change it, they will have to count on Russia, but also on “a Serbia which the world trusts.”
“After only one meeting, Russia said that they are ready to engage in the dialogue. It will not be pleasant for them, either, it is a conflict – there will be differences of opinions with the US and with EU members,” Vulin said.
Asked to comment on Pristina-based media reports about US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley saying that her country would “work on Kosovo becoming a member of the UN,” Vulin said this was “nothing new.”
“They’ve been doing it until now and they’ll continue to do it. Our job is for the territorial integrity and constitutional order of Serbia to be valid throughout the territory, for (UNSC) Resolution 1244 to be respected. We will be peaceful, stable,” concluded Vulin.