Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has voiced criticism for the attitude Bosniak leaders in Bosnia and Herzegovina are displaying toward Serbia and Republika Srpska, adding that the tensions between Serbs and Bosniaks must end.
"Any message sent from [Belgrade] will be rejected by Sarajevo. Whatever message I send, the answer will always be [addressed to] 'Vucic, the Sarajevo sniper.' You've been telling that lie for ten years now, because of your need to belittle Serbia. Banjaluka isn't big enough of an opponent for you, so you need to stand against Belgrade to feel like big politicians," Vucic said in a Jan. 12 evening interview for the RTS public service
Vucic further stated that he was surprised when United States Ambassador to Serbia Anthony Godfrey raised questions about why Serbia was acquiring so many weapons. "I consider him a fair man who has contributed significantly to the improvement of relations [between Serbia and the U.S.]. That's why I was surprised by his question, first because it intrudes into a sovereign state's internal affairs. There are regional agreements regulating what kind of arms and equipment [a country] can have -- and in what quantity -- and we haven't breached a single one of them," Vucic said.
With regards to the controversy surrounding the Rio Tinto lithium mining project, Vucic said he expects the Serbian government to void all contracts with the company, but that he was of the opinion that the public should not be "pandered to." The president explained that, should all the contracts with Rio Tinto be retracted, the state would have to repay the company, and that then "some other people will ask why the contracts were terminated and why the people are being pandered to."
"We will have to appear before British and U.S. arbitrators if we decide to cancel those contracts," Vucic said.