The assassination of Kosovan Serb leader Oliver Ivanovic could be a starting point of a new aggressive Western policy in Serbia, Serbian far-right opposition leader Vojislav Seselj told TASS on Tuesday.
“I think that Ivanovic was deliberately selected as a sacrificial lamb. I think that more pressure on Serbia will follow as a result of Western propaganda, I fear that more attacks on Republika Srpska [a constituent entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina] will also take place,” said Seselj, the founder and president of the far-right Serbian Radical Party.
Seselj said the assassination of Oliver Ivanovic was surrounded by strange circumstances.
“Very strange events involving Oliver Ivanovic took place recently. He was a chairman of a minor pro-Western party and was a pro-Western politician,” said Seselj, whose party holds 8.1% of seats in the Serbian parliament.
According to Seselj, Ivanovic failed to achieve any significant political results, but three years ago “they began to arrest him, bring him to trial, release and then arrest again.”
“For quite a while, he was being kept in prison on suspicion of military crimes, although all Serbs, all Albanians and all foreigners knew that he was involved in no crime whatsoever,” the Serbian politician added. “No one could give a more or less credible reason for his prosecution. Then, his car was set ablaze. And now he is dead.”
“I think that this is the start of the new US initiative in the Balkans, which was announced two months ago. As far as possible motives are concerned, the main goal of it – to make the people of Serbia, especially in Kosovo and Metohija, nervous – has already been achieved
He said another aim for the murder could be to subsequently accuse the Serbian side of it.
“It has already given rise to certain speculations, like ‘maybe, he was killed by Serbs?’ But no one can explain why would they need to do this. The Serbian government, which I oppose and which I seek to topple, has no motive for such actions,” the Serbian opposition leader said.
He also noted that pro-Western Serbian opposition has come with an unnaturally quick and unified reaction to the issue.
“I think that pro-Western propaganda in this direction will follow, because the West has already started making statements of this kind in Belgrade. It is also worthy of note that the pro-Western forces in Belgrade were unnaturally quick in their reaction to the murder, as if they were ready to this situation beforehand,” he said.
Seselj said that the murder could be a part of preparations to launch a new propaganda offensive on Serbia and other countries in the region.
“This is an attack on Serbia because of its stance and its contacts with Russia. We are ‘a small Russia’ on the Balkans, this is our destiny,” Seselj added.
Oliver Ivanovic, a leader of Kosovan Serbs and the head of the ‘Freedom, Democracy, Truth’ party was gunned down on Tuesday morning while entering his party’s office. The wounded politician was found by a neighbor who was returning from a shop. Ivanovic was rushed to a hospital in Kosovska Mitrovica with at least five gunshot wounds in the chest, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Representatives of international missions to Kosovo condemned Ivanovic’s murder and demanded bringing those responsible to justice as soon as possible. Russia said that the situation may bring about the atmosphere of terror and give rise to inter-ethnic conflicts in the region.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has already described Ivanovic’s murder as a terror attack against the entire people of Serbia.