aleksandar vučić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ TANJUG / RADE PRELIC / ua

Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Friday commented on the border shutdown between Croatia and Serbia at Batina as "games being played in the neighbourhood," which he "doesn't understand" and does not wish to participate in.

"Serbia doesn't want to participate in the games being played in the neighbourhood by raising fences and harassing citizens because of migrants even though there are none there," Vucic told a press conference.

He underscored that the greatest threat to Serbia was regional instability and that Serbia would continue to support that stability which excludes disputes that are being trumped up by some to gain political points in their country.

Commenting on a recent message from Bosnia and Herzegovina that he was not welcome at the commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide, Vucic said that he would not allow Serbia to be dragged into the quagmire of disputes, not from the region or the world.

He said that Serbia is not a doormat and that it "will be stronger economically and more open toward the world, neighbours and friends and will only build friendships."

We won't allow anyone to demean Serbia and its people, he said and added "many in the region and world are bothered by a stable, strong and powerful Serbia which after 36 years can buy helicopters that can fly to New York, the only country of the 11 in the region," a Serbia in which the Chinese are launching a steel foundry and has an open path to the European and Eurasian market," he said.

In response to the Council of the European Union's decision not to open Chapters 23 and 24 in Serbia's EU negotiations, Vucic said that his message at the Paris-Balkan 2016 summit scheduled for July 4 would be that Serbia remains committed to the EU but will not let anyone "pull it by the ears".

He added that in Paris he would demand clear answers from heads of state and government why the chapters had not been opened.

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