Serbian Foreign Minister Accuses Croatia of Hatred towards Serbia

Today, while commenting on the recent development in Serbian EU negotiations, the Vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Serbia, Ivica Dačić, accused the Croatian government of anti-Serb sentiments.

Ivica Dačić (Image by Chatham House/wikimedia/CC BY 2.0)

Ivica Dačić (Image by Chatham House/CC BY 2.0)

Dačić noted that the actions by the Croatian government are bringing harm to the whole region, saying :“Rhetoric, vocabulary and an open hatred that resonates from every statement they give is not just for the purpose of the election campaign in Croatia, but a reflection of a pathological obsession with Serbia and of the anti-Serb hysteria, led by the Croatian government”.

Dačić’s statements are a response to the conflict between Serbia and Croatia, brought up by the disagreements between the two countries over Serbia’s EU accession process. As we reported, the EU recently confirmed opening Chapters 23 and 24 for Serbia, in spite of the Croatian blockade, thus ending a three-month pause in the process.

Croatia made several demands to Serbia related to the Serbian EU membership talks: full respect of minority rights, cooperation with the Hague war crimes Tribunal, and repealing a law which grants Serbia jurisdiction to prosecute war crimes committed during the 1900s in former Yugoslavia.

However, after the EU confirmed the opening of the mentioned chapters for Serbia, the Croatian (fallen) government was harshly criticized for “letting that happen” by the Veteran Unions; Croatian Veteran Unions want Serbia to repeal the Law of Universal Jurisdiction.

As a response to that criticism, the Croatian government announced the forming of a Monitoring Commission which will observe Serbian progress related to Chapters 23 and 24, especially the progress concerning the above-mentioned law.

While commenting on the argued law, Dačić explained that Croatia should first consult with more than 10 EU member states that have similar laws of Universal Jurisdiction, including Germany. “How come they didn’t mind when war crimes committed in former Yugoslavia were prosecuted in Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland or Germany?” Dačić added.

Dačić concluded by saying that the Croatian government’s actions are making Croatia a problem for the EU and not for Serbia, and that it was just about time for Croatia to stop acting unreasonable, and stop damaging relations in the region.

Dejan Scepanovic

Based in Bosnia and Herzegovina. BA in political science. Columnist