In a talk at Columbia University on Monday, Milanović said Vučić had been a warmonger, which set off a storm in Serbia.
“You can’t ignore which roles some people had in our region in the last 30 years. Blood was spilt, there was arson, killing, and some people incited to that,” he told the press on Tuesday, adding that “Croatia has gentlemanly let it go but won’t bury its head in the sand as many in Serbia are doing.”
“I think Vučić was proud of what he was doing. This is something that should be said from time to time, especially when someone… sends on a daily basis his political holograms, spokesmen and agitators to say on his behalf whatever pops into their heads. That’s dirty and methodologically cheap,” Milanović said.
Vučić said on Monday that Milanović was saying such things about him, “shallow and low insults”, because Croatia is jealous of Serbia’s economic success. He said Milanović was bothered by the fact that this year Serbia would surpass Croatia in GDP “by a 300 to 600 million euro margin.”
“Serbia has a bigger total GDP even than Luxembourg. But Croatia’s and Serbia’s GDPs per capita are not even close. Serbia is much closer to Albania there,” said Vučić. “In terms of general development, Serbia is not at Croatia’s level. Life in Croatia is better and richer than in Serbia by all parametres.”
Friendly talk on Bosnia with Erdogan
Milanović spoke to the press after meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying they had a friendly talk on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“What I say in public, I say at such meetings,” he said, adding that Turkey’s foreign and defence ministers were also at the “quite open and very pleasant” meeting.
“What I underlined to Mr Erdogan is that there is no one in Croatia who will throw around stories that Mostar and Herzegovina will separate, which we hear from some others about some other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And that’s not smart nor necessary. In Croatia, no one advocates such a policy and such outcomes nor thinks that,” Milanović said.
While in New York, he was to have met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres, but the meeting was cancelled because Milanović had more important commitments.
That wasn’t even supposed to be a meeting but a photo op and a five-minute talk, Milanović said. “At that moment, I assessed that I had something more productive, an informal meeting concerning the region, state business.”
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