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Croatian PM Boycotting Belgrade

Croatia53Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović will boycott a meeting in Belgrade next month with leaders from central and eastern Europe and China because of a failure from the Serbian government to react over provocative statements made by Serbian radical Vojislav Šešelj…

Milanović was due in the Serbian capital on 16 December, but the PM said on Friday that in the current climate is was impossible for him to go. Šešelj, an ultra-nationalist, was provisionally released by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for cancer treatment after almost 12 years in detention. His trial is still ongoing, but since his return to Serbia he has been involved in provocative “wartime rhetoric’, forcing the European Parliament to pass a resolution strongly condemning his for what it said was his “warmongering, incitement to hatred and encouragement of territorial claims and his attempts to derail Serbia from its European path.”

Milanović, speaking in Dubrovnik on Friday, said the Serbian government’s failure to react has forced him to boycott the meeting.

“In this climate it would be a joke if I went there. They have their problems, but they to deal with it. This is not the way, and I made the decision not to go even before yesterday’s press conference from the Serbian government. There people were the same politicians from the 1990’s and all that we are asking is for them to say that it is not alright, that it is evil and they distance themselves from that,” said the Croatian PM, who will meet with the leaders in Warsaw and Bucharest in the first two meetings, but he will be missing in Belgrade.

Šešelj returned to Serbia on 12 November and has since reiterated his ”Greater Serbia’ ideology that fueled the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo in the 90’s.

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