Protest in Belgrade against Serbia's Negotiations with Kosovo

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | February 16, 2023, Thursday // 08:56
Bulgaria: Protest in Belgrade against Serbia's Negotiations with Kosovo Ultra-right Serbs

Hundreds of Serbian nationalists gathered in the capital Belgrade and demanded that the government reject the Western plan to normalize relations with Kosovo and withdraw from the negotiations, Anadolu Agency reported.

Protesters gathered in front of the presidential building carrying placards reading "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia", "No surrender" and "Betrayal of Kosovo is a betrayal of Russia!"

They blocked traffic and at one point knocked down the metal fence next to the presidency and approached the building, shouting: "Where is Vucic?"

The group then threw eggs at the windows and threatened to kill Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic before police detained some of them.

Their main demand was that Vucic withdraw from the Kosovo negotiations with the Western countries and that the Community of Serbian Municipalities not be created.

Vucic told a local TV channel that the protesters were calling for violence and asked what Damjan Knežević meant when he told the government, "You are afraid of riots. I swear to you that we are ready for more than this."

"Do you really think it's possible, do you think there won't be an answer to this? The state will react very efficiently, very quickly, very seriously and very responsibly," Vucic said, accusing the protesters of being anti-Serbian and receiving funding and support from a "foreign country".

He added that all those who threaten to kill him and promise riots if Belgrade tries to improve its ties with Kosovo will be held accountable in accordance with the law.

"Those who think they can bring down Serbia with their untruths, with their brutal lies, those who think they can bring down a serious country with threats, with a few weapons, with the connections they have in some foreign country, with the support they get in money, mostly in cash from some foreigners, and they justify themselves with great patriotism, and because they do a lot of good things for their country, they can never beat Serbia," Vucic said.

Belgrade's top prosecutor, Nenad Stefanovic, said that anyone who threatens the highest government posts and all members of extremist groups who threaten the security of citizens will be prosecuted.

Meanwhile, another member of the ultra-right group "People's Patrol" was detained in Novi Sad - Dejan Bobocek, who was found with a rifle with an optical sight and ammunition, the Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed to the media.

Dialogue process between Kosovo and Serbia

The European Union is demanding that Kosovo and Serbia reach a final agreement to resolve the issues between the two countries.

Recently, the two countries have been holding talks that are as popular as the Franco-German proposal.

In October, President Vucic said that Germany and France had offered to speed up Serbia's EU membership process if it recognized Kosovo's independence and allowed it to become a member of international organizations.

According to available information, Kosovo should also allow the creation of an Association of Serbian Municipalities in the northern part of the country, where many Serbs live.

EU officials hope to conclude negotiations on the plan in the spring.

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Tags: kosovo, Vucic, Serbian, Belgrade
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