Vucic says respects Juncker, but can't stand false parallels

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Thursday refused to comment in more detail on European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's reply to his letter to EU officials on the situation in the region and his objections to Croatia's policy towards Serbia, saying that he respected Juncker very much but could not stand "false parallels."

"We need peace and cooperation and I will therefore not comment on the letter I received from Jean-Claude Juncker, whom I respect very much... I will not comment on the content of the letter except, perhaps, for one sentence: I can't stand it when everything is made equal, when false symmetries and balances are made," Vucic told a news conference after meeting with officials of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Belgrade.

In his letter to Juncker of August 1, Vucic said that Croatia was pursuing "a blatant anti-Serb policy" which Serbia did not provoke in any way, except for expressing its disagreement with decisions in cases related to WWII Zagreb Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac, Croatian member of Parliament Branimir Glavas and Miro Baresic, underlining that Serbia could not accept the legacy of Nazism and support for terrorism.

In his letter to EU leaders, Vucic asked them to say if Serbia had done something wrong in the context of the latest events in Croatia, citing the quashing of war crimes verdicts for Glavas and Stepinac and the unveiling of a monument to Baresic, who was sentenced in Sweden for terrorism and for the murder of the Yugoslav ambassador to Sweden, Vladimir Rolovic, in the 1970s.

In his reply to Vucic's letter, EC President Juncker said that good neighbourly relations, regional cooperation and reconciliation were the basic principles that should be respected by all EU candidate countries, potential candidates and EU member-countries.

Juncker stressed that the EC had always strongly advocated, within its powers, respect for victims and remembrance of war crimes in Europe. EU law criminalises hate crimes based on ethnicity and incitement of violence or hate. Under EU law, member-countries are obliged to ensure the prosecution of those crimes, and countries aspiring to join the EU are expected to adjust to those laws, Juncker said.

In depth coverage

Serbian foreign minister says Juncker's reply misses the point

The European Union keeps its head in the sand and the reply by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic's letter in which he warns about an anti-Serb policy in Croatia and the region misses the point, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Wednesday evening after Juncker's reply was made public.

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Last update: Thu, 01/09/2016 - 11:56

Juncker replies to Vucic, calls for constructive dialogue between Croatia, Serbia

In his reply to a letter by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that good neighbourly relations, regional cooperation and reconciliation were the basic principles that should be respected by all EU candidate countries, potential candidates and EU member-countries.

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Last update: Thu, 01/09/2016 - 11:55
Last update: Thu, 01/09/2016 - 12:26
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