AP

US rejects ‘Serbian world’ advocated by Serbian minister

Jul 10, 2022, 10:23 PM | Updated: Jul 11, 2022, 10:25 am

FILE - Serbia Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin, right, walks behind Serbian President Aleksandar V...

FILE - Serbia Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin, right, walks behind Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, April 23, 2018. Vulin, said Monday, July 11, 2022 he is advocating a “Serbian world” that would unite all Serbs in the Balkans in a single state, rejecting a U.S. warning that such calls could further fuel tensions in the still volatile region. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic, File)

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — A senior Serbian minister on Monday advocated the creation of a “Serbian world” that would unite all Serbs in the Balkans into a single state, rejecting a U.S. warning that such calls could fuel tensions in the still-volatile region rocked by bloody wars in the 1990s.

“I dream of the unification of Serbs, just as all my ancestors dreamed of it,” Serbia’s Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin said. “I know that one day it will be completed, peacefully, without violence and conflict.”

He was responding to a statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade on Monday, which said that such “comments of the minister of the interior about the unification of all Serbs into one state are not in accordance with the Dayton Agreement and contradict Serbia’s integration into European structures.”

The U.S.-sponsored Dayton peace agreement reached in 1995 ended a bloody Bosnian war that killed more than 100,000 people and left millions homeless. But it also left Bosnia divided into a fragile federation that links an area run by Bosnian Serbs with another run by Bosniaks and Croats. Bosnian Serb leaders openly want to leave that unity government and join neighboring Serbia.

The U.S. Embassy was reacting to Vulin’s earlier interview with the government-controlled Politika daily in which he said “the only way for the Balkans to remain stable is for the Serbs to live in one state.”

Serbs are widely blamed for triggering the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s under a nationalist call to create “Greater Serbia,” the unification of all lands in the Balkans where Serbs live with Serbia.

The “Serbian world” call is a copy of Moscow’s “Russian world” demand that seeks the creation of another Soviet Union or a Russian Empire under Moscow’s control that would also include Ukraine.

Although formally seeking European Union membership, traditional Russian ally Serbia has refused to join Western sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Staunchly pro-Russian Vulin has been advocating the “Serbian world” for a while. Analysts believe that he has only been openly saying what autocratic Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is reluctant to state publicly, fearing a possible Western political backlash and isolation.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

5 minutes ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

1 day ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

1 day ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

2 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

3 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

4 days ago

US rejects ‘Serbian world’ advocated by Serbian minister