Serbia’s President Boris Tadic reported in RTS that Serbia will defend Kosovo “with all diplomatic means.” He also mentioned in the next breath — rather cryptically — that the Serbian Army is “ready to realize all tasks.” In classic George Bush speak, Tadic said that he would never “push [Serbia’s] soldiers into new wars” but Serbia will have the policy of “insisting on peace.”
Interesting choice of words at such a time when tensions are high. If he is trying to stoke up the flames of ethnic nationalist support in Belgrade with his defiant words, then he certainly is doing a good job. If he is showing that he can talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time, then he certainly is doing a good job. But as for showing the international community and the EU both his prowess in international relations and the capacity for restraint, Tadic has again tripped on his pride and has gone back to what everyone knows Serbia will go back to: ethnic nationalism.
Serbian President Boris Tadic has assessed that the situation in the south of central Serbia is calm, but that Kosovo is one of the most sensitive zones in Europe, which could cause new instability. “It is important to make decisions that would mean peace and stability,” said Tadic after the visit to military and police garrisons in the Ground Safety Zone in the Presevo Municipality.
He said that Serbia will defend with all “diplomatic means its territorial integrity”, and that the Serbian Army is in good condition, “ready to realize all tasks.”
“The army will always be used in accordance with international law and national legislation. We will never push our soldiers into new wars, but we will have the policy insisting on peace,” emphasized the President. Asked how Serbia would react in the case of self-proclamation of Kosovo’s independence, Tadic responded that international law, UNSCR 1244 and the Kumanovo Military Agreement are the basis for the defense of Serbia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“On that foundation, we are always able to activate the armed forces, with the agreement of KFOR commander, which we will respect,” stated Tadic. He stressed that Serbia will not wage war in conflict with the world, but that it is ready to react in accordance with international regulations and protect the population.