By Talha Ozturk
BELGRADE, Serbia (AA) - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic delivered an ominous warning Thursday on the dangers surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war, noting that remaining silent over it is not an option.
“Today we are witnessing a kind of Third World War, which will become larger, wider and more severe than today in the coming days, weeks and months. Mark my words,” he said during a session of parliament.
“In a whirlwind of war, you…cannot be neutral, remain silent, hide under a rock, because they will not allow you to do that," he added.
Vucic's remarks came at a session of the National Assembly, where a Franco-German plan supported by the US and the European Union was comprehensively discussed in resolving the Kosovo issue.
"Kosovo is more than a political agenda for me,” he said, adding the issue has been an ongoing problem for 600 years.
According to Vucic, Kosovo launched a political attack as the war in Ukraine began on Feb. 24 last year.
"They see us as the enemy, and they persecute our people. There are attacks on the Serbs in Kosovo. All of these are against the Brussels Treaty. They created lots of problems,'' he said.
Vucic said the most difficult part of the Franco-German plan is the condition that Serbia does not oppose Kosovo's participation in any international organization.
Meanwhile, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti addressed deputies in parliament in Pristina, where he presented six conditions for establishing a union of Serb municipalities, which is one of the conditions of the plan.
Kurti said its formation should be preceded by a final agreement with Belgrade and the unions would not be able to have executive powers.
- Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process
The European Union requires Kosovo and Serbia to reach a final agreement that can resolve issues between the two countries for progress in the integration process.
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states including the US, the UK, France, Germany and Türkiye recognizing it as a separate autonomous country from its neighbor. But Belgrade continues to regard it as its territory.
Lately, the parties have been negotiating what is popularly known as the Franco-German proposal, supported by the US and all EU members.
President Vucic said last October that Germany and France offered to expedite Serbia’s EU membership process if it recognized Kosovo’s independence and allowed it to become a member of international organizations.
According to the proposal, which was leaked to the media, Kosovo should allow the establishment of a union of Serbian municipalities in the north, where Serbs mostly live.
EU officials hope negotiations on the plan will be completed in the spring.
Brussels has facilitated the Serbia-Kosovo dialogue.