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Nikolić: We were at the brink of conflict; Priština’s next attempt will end badly

January 15, 2017.

We were at the brink of conflict, Albanians want war, the President of the Republic of Serbia Tomislav Nikolić stated today, warning that every next attempt by the provisional institutions in Priština to provoke conflict, such as the event related to the train, will end badly.

 Nikolić

"Let Albanians and their sponsors think about that”, Nikolić told reporters after the National Security Council meeting, adding that the appearance of ROSU in northern Kosovo was a sign that the Albanians want war.

He did not rule out the possibility of Serbia sending its army to Kosovo and Metohija in order to, if necessary, protect Serbian people from being killed.

“We are not for war, but we will send our army if we need to protect Serbs from potential killings. If they kill Serbs we will send our army, we will all go, I will go, it would not be my first time”, Nikolić said, while answering the reporters’ questions on the possibility of Serbia sending its army to protect the Serbs.

“We will act in line with the Constitution of Serbia”, Nikolić said, reminding that under international law, Kosovo and Metohija is a part of Serbia.

He stressed that, although we made an effort not to show it, we were at the brink of conflict yesterday.

"The appearance of ROSU was a sign that Albanians want war," Nikolić said.

He stressed that Serbia expects the EU to say whether Mustafa's statement that Brussels "agreed with each move made by Priština" was true.

He pointed out that in the future, the only topic of the dialogue must be the train, i.e., the freedom of movement.

He assessed that Priština's actions regarding the train were "the last throes of the outgoing U.S. administration".

Nikolić said that under the circumstances of a challenge such as the one yesterday, he and the PM decided to stop “a passenger train that was such a problem for the EU, the U.S., and the provisional institutions in Priština," and “everything was on the brink of conflict in which dozens would have been dead, and today… God knows”…

Several agreements reached in Brussels were violated yesterday.

He stated that Article 1 of the Brussels agreement speaks about the freedom of movement, that all citizens have the right to move, to enter and exit the territory, without the possibility of being prevented to do so.

There's also an article, the President of Serbia reminded, that says special ROSU units cannot show up north of the Ibar River without the approval of NATO and the local community.

“Why did a train bother the so-called international community and Priština yesterday? Perhaps because it had 'Kosovo is Serbia' written on it and because it was painted with our frescoes...”, the head of state asked.

He then added that we should not allow Albanians carrying the insignia and the documents of Kosovo and Metohija through the territory of Serbia," Nikolić said.

“It seems to me these are the last throes of the outgoing American administration, after whose leaders the streets are named”, Nikolić assessed, while stressing that “the EU did not provide the right response, NATO did not provide the right response…” to yesterday’s events.

"We will never start and cause a conflict, but we are a state that must protect its people and its territory“, Nikolić remarked, adding that Kosovo and Metohija is a territory under UN control, while the EU has a big role.

According to him, it is obvious that Brussels agreements serve only to warn Serbia to what she is obliged to, and Priština to break them.

He said that it was his suggestion at the National Security Council to negotiate in Brussels exclusively on when that train would pass.

“Everything else is irrelevant. If there is no freedom of movement, as we signed, if the guarantors of this freedom are EU and NATO, a military presence, and if they don’t want to secure this freedom, what are we negotiating about then with the provisional institutions?

“The territory of Kosovo and Metohija under international law is a territory of Serbia, and every citizen in it must be safe”, he emphasized.

Our diplomacy is going in a lot of directions, a lot of states support our stance, Nikolić said, adding that we expect the EU to come forth and say if Mustafa is lying when he says that they had the support of EU and USA.

"I am warning them not to speak about conquering of territories, about their police being in a territory where they could not be, under any agreement. We do not want conflict, but there are situations and circumstances where one can no longer act according to one's wishes. We will act according to the Constitution of Serbia, which is clear. We are under obligation to secure every inch of the territory and each citizen. We have agreed on this, and we stand united, and don’t provoke us", Nikolić concluded.

He stressed that everyone is united in this stance, the police, the army, the government, the security structures… “We acted well yesterday; there is no basis for Albanians to gloat. Any new attempt of theirs will end badly, and they and their sponsors should think about that", Nikolić concluded.

Negotiation process with Pristina Operational Factsheet