Serbian Foreign Minister: Unlike Croatia, We Never Sided with Hitler

By 2 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 2, 2018 - Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić agreed with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Tuesday that Croatia and Serbia were not the same, stressing that the difference was that during WWII Serbia did not side with Hitler and took part in the Holocaust.

Plenković said earlier on Tuesday that Croatia and Serbia were two different worlds because it was impossible to imagine that a Croatian member of parliament would desecrate the Serbian flag the way that Serbian ultra-nationalist MP Vojislav Šešelj had recently desecrated the Croatian flag in Belgrade.

"It is true that we are not equal, we were not on Hitler's side, we did not carry out the Holocaust against the Jews and Croats, we did not force Croats to wear special markings such as those that Serbs and Jews were forced to wear during WWII - Jews wore yellow and Serbs wore blue ribbons," Dačić said in his response to Plenković.

Another difference is that "Serbia is not negating crimes, but it is punishing them," the Serbian minister said.

"We are not the same, but we believe that what Croatia is doing is pure nonsense and it would be better if we focused on the development of our relations, rather than engage into a diplomatic war. And Plenković knows all that but thinks that this will help him gain political points. And that's just sad," said Dačić, who is on a visit to India.

He elaborated his recent statement that Croatia, if it wanted, would get a diplomatic war. "I didn't speak about a war, but about a diplomatic war which Croatia is provoking," the Serbian Minister said in response to Plenković's statement that it was not good to use the word "war" in Croatia-Serbia relations.

Diplomatic tensions between the two countries erupted after Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin recently said that "only the supreme commander of the Serbian Army, President Aleksandar Vučić," could decide whether he could visit Croatia and not Croatian ministers.

Zagreb then decided Vulin was not welcome in Croatia after which Belgrade reciprocated by declaring Croatian Defence Minister Damir Krstičević persona non grata.

Plenković confirmed on Tuesday he would talk to President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović this week, but declined to say if the topic of their talks would be taking new measures as a response to Serbia's decision to declare Minister Krstičević persona non grata.