Published On: Thu, Mar 28th, 2024
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Fears grow that two more European states are edging closer to war | World | News

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic sparked concerns across Europe after he issued a grim and enigmatic statement about the future of his country.

Taking to social media on Tuesday, Mr Vucic rang alarm bells about an unspecified threat regarding both his country and the ethnically Serb Republika Srpska part of Bosnia.

The politician wrote on Facebook: “Difficult days are ahead of Serbia.

“At this moment, it is not easy to say what kind of news we have received in the last 48 hours, [but] they directly threaten our vital national interests, both of Serbia and [Republika] Srpska.”

Possibly alluding to skirmishes or even a conflict, the populist politician added: “In the coming days, I will introduce the people of Serbia to all the challenges that lie ahead. It will be difficult. We will fight. Serbia will win.”

Mr Vucic, who supports his country’s bid to join the European Union but also wants to retain close ties with Russia and China, hasn’t offered clarification about the meaning behind the widely-reported post.

Also on Tuesday, he shared a video on Instagram with the following caption: “There is a small nation in Europe, in a small country, in a small territory, which still stands proud and dignified, which does not agree to occupation and orders from outside.

“A small but proud people who want a future for themselves and their children. You can cut off our air, we will not give you freedom, because we love Serbia, we live for Serbia!”

Fears Serbia may be preparing for a conflict have been steadily rising in recent months, after in September the White House denounced an “unprecedented” build-up of Serb troops along the border of Kosovo – a country Belgrade does not recognise.

Also in September last year, Serb gunmen stormed a Kosovo village and barricaded themselves in a monastery during clashes with police. The incident killed four people.

More recently, Mr Vucic said last week Belgrade may leave the Council of Europe, of which it has been a member since 2003, if Kosovo joins the organisation.

Tensions are also high between Serbia and Bosnia due to Republika Srpska, as its leader Milorad Dodik vowed in December to declare full independence of the Serbia-leaning region.

Mr Vucic and Mr Dodik met in person on March 27 to discuss preparations for the great Easter Assembly – an event to take place between May 5 and 6 during which “significant decisions” will be taken, the president said.

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