Serb Leader in Croatia Defends His Actions

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, September 24, 2018 – In response to the question of a Croatian Television talk show host why he has not clearly and unequivocally expressed his position on Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić’s claim that the present-day Croatia is like Nazi Germany, Croatian Serb leader Milorad Pupovac has countered with the statement that nobody has ever heard him (Pupovac) saying that Croatia is an Ustasha state or likening the modern Croatia to any Nazi or Fascist structure.

Referring to the objection of the host of the broadcast “Nedjeljom u 2” aired on Sunday that this way he was “watering down the whole story” and following the talk show host’s insistence that he should give a clear statement about the matter, Pupovac answered that “if all in Croatia had a bit different attitude towards the fact that 250,000-300,000 Serbs were expelled from Croatia from 1991 to 1995, and if they do not pretend that this did not happen, or that it did happen only due to the responsibility of those who left the country, my answer would be much simpler.”

A few days ago, the leader of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) and long-serving MP held a 30-minute news conference at which he responded to recent demand by two war veterans’ organisations that the parliament discuss his attitude to Vučić’s claims, saying that he was responsible for his own words and actions and not for those of others, “as that is supposed to be so in a law-based country.” Disgruntled veterans resent Pupovac’s having attended a commemoration in Bačka Palanka, Serbia, at which Vučić likened Croatia to Nazi Germany.

Vučić’s speech in Bačka Planka on the occasion of the observation of the 23rd anniversary of Operation Storm provoked strong reactions in Croatia. Croatia’s Foreign Ministry has said that Vučić’s speech amounted to a “twisted argument” because it was former Serbian president Slobodan Milošević’s regime, with the help of the Yugoslav army and some Croatian and Bosnian Serbs, that were responsible for the return of ethnic cleansing in Europe after WWII.

The ministry said the Milošević regime had been “responsible for the return of ethnic cleansing in Europe after World War II by attempting to create a so-called ethnically clean Serbia in one third of Croatia, all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Montenegro and Kosovo.” The ministry recalled that Serbia had tried to achieve its expansionist goals by any means, including ethnic cleansing and genocide, saying that was “clearly established at the relevant international forums and courts.” With Operation Storm, the Croatian army and police liberated most of Croatia’s occupied territory, paving the way for the end of the military aggression against Croatia, the ministry recalled.

In response to Vučić’s claims, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has said that it is well-known that the war was fought in Croatia, not in Serbia, that Milošević’s Great Serbia regime carried out a military aggression against Croatia, and that the 1995 Operation Storm ended the occupation of Croatia.

In reference to the demands from some veterans for a parliamentary session on his position on the latest developments and on the Homeland Defence War, Pupovac said that he could incessantly be faced with the accusations because of his insistence that all people are equal before the law and Constitution and his insistence that “people should not be discriminated against and should not be perceived as enemies and traitors only because of their different religion and ethnicity, although they have not done anything that could undermine the basic rules of patriotic behaviour, ether in peace or in war times.” He also said that loyalty was mostly put to the test in times of crises.


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