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22nd April 2021 - President Vučić talked via a video link with representatives of the Atlantic Council

President of the Republic of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić talked today via a video link with the representatives of the Atlantic Council about the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as about regional issues and foreign policy priorities of the country.

President Vučić emphasised that in the procurement of vaccines, Serbia did not act geopolitically, but having in mind the saving of human lives only. He said he did not believe that what his team did was something hugely historical, even though Serbia with its efforts managed to obtain more vaccines than the others.

President Vučić pointed out that Serbia's success in the procurement of vaccines is related to its success in the economy and stated that Serbia is second in Europe in terms of growth and that the IMF forecasts Serbia to grow by 5% for the current year, while domestic projections range between 6 and 6.5 per cent of GDP growth. He added that direct foreign investments also contributed to the strengthening of the Serbian economy, and reminded that last year Serbia attracted almost 70% of all investments in the region, which is the most important pillar of our economic growth, in addition to higher public spending.

"These good results were achieved with the reforms initiated in 2014 and 2015", President Vučić explained, adding he was proud that Serbia was able to help the region.

President Vučić expressed the expectation that the EU will open a cluster with Serbia in the accession negotiations in June.

"We have started to achieve results on many issues in the field of rule of law. I think we are making good progress in the fight against organised crime. Of course, there are issues we have to face. We have to make huge efforts to overcome all these problems. We are ready to hear all the criticism. If we can achieve results in the economy and vaccination, I do not doubt that we can improve the state of human rights and democracy", concluded President Vučić. He stressed that the most important thing is to preserve peace and stability in the region and that the Western Balkans could be the engine of development of entire Europe if a single market within the "mini Schengen" initiative would be formed.

Speaking about the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, President Vučić said that both sides must fulfil what was signed in Brussels.

"You do not hear any blackmail from Belgrade. We do not threaten with war damages and lawsuits, but we hear that every day from Priština and there is no reaction from the USA and the EU", the President said, emphasising that it is important to increase trust between the two sides and that hostile atmosphere must not be created. He pointed out that Serbia must invest more in the relationship with the United States and increase the trust of the American side.

"We need the United States as a friend of Serbia because we can do something good. We can progress with the support of the United States. That is a precondition for economic progress.

The United States may not be our best friend, but it is a friend with whom we have a common interest and common future", President Vučić said, adding that Serbia aspires to have as much support as possible. He noted the military-technical cooperation, but also cooperation in other fields. "The interest of American companies ready to invest - is growing", concluded President Vučić.

Speaking about the green agenda, President Vučić stated that it is not an easy issue for the region, and Serbia alike, although everyone agrees that a green transformation is necessary. "Nowadays, jobs and living standard are no longer the main topic, because citizens know that everything is going well, but they are talking about ecology.

Environmental protection is an important topic, to which we will dedicate ourselves, but we should not go to extremes," said President Vučić and pointed out that he was proud of the development of Serbia.

Source: www.predsednik.rs

Photo: www.predsednik.rs


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