In an exclusive edition of the “Ćirilica” show, the author of the show Milomir Maric welcomed Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj who spoke in Serbian language.
The summary of the show in Serbian is available here: https://www.happytv.tv/emisije/cirilica/89842/haradinaj-u-cirilici-kosovsku-spoljnu-politiku-vodi-amerika
The first question was related to the Association/Community of Serb-Majority Municipalities (ASM).
PM: “Let’s first find out what kind of the ASM that is, and only after when it will be formed,” Haradinaj said, as Milomir Maric added: We would like it to be Republika Srpska in Kosovo.
PM: One option is like the Brussels agreement. This is not the end because the Constitutional Court has to decide on it. We can now form the ASM, but it is a matter of the Constitution of Kosovo.
Milomir Maric asked PM Haradinaj whether it is true that under that Constitution only the name (of the ASM) can be maintained, and that all other points are not in accordance with the Constitution.
PM: It’s too early for me to interpret it now, but what I did was that I intensified this issue, that is, I established mechanisms for its implementation. We also have an implementation management team made up of Serbs only. Two of them are from the north of Kosovo, and two from the southern part. The problem will come up later, whether this final document (the ASM statute) will be in accordance with the Constitution.
Maric: On the conclusion that the Serbs are afraid that this ASM will be formed to be under the complete control of Pristina, PM Haradinaj said: It does not have to be called fear, but Kosovo exists and the source of our existence is the Constitution. So we all work here.
Maric: So here we are talking about the Constitution of Kosovo, while the Serbian Constitution says that Kosovo is part of Serbia. Does Haradinaj agree with that?
PM: Well, I did not read the Constitution of Serbia, but I do not think that this is about reality. Kosovo has been independent since 2008, and has been recognized by an enviable number of countries in the world and institutions. It is not yet a reality for Serbia to recognize it.
Maric: Albanians from Serbia were not expelled and 200,000 Serbs were expelled from Kosovo.
PM: If we are already talking about the figures, then we must also say that in 1999, a million Albanians had to leave Kosovo. Many returned, but not everyone.
Maric: All Albanians have returned, but not Serbs.
PM: And some Serbs have returned, I do not know the exact number. I want to say that there is no obstacle to living in Kosovo because of nationality, because you are a Serb, for example. A large number of people (Serbs) live here in Pristina, I cannot say what number it is. For example, the second program of our television is in Serbian language. The situation of Serbs in Kosovo is not as difficult as it is portrayed in Belgrade.
Maric: On personal documents for Kosovo Serbs, they say they are Kosovars, and not Serbs.
PM: Well, you know, in my ID card, I’m Kosovar, not an Albanian. And something else, Serbs’ names and last names are written in Cyrillic.
Maric on Djuric’s arrest: Considering how everything was done, the question arises as to whether ever one negotiator was so hijacked and led by the streets of the city as Marko Djuric.
PM: It’s a strange situation, so strange. No one felt good about it. Marko Djuric was banned from entering until the next day, and we thought he would not appear. I even personally asked him, through all channels, to wait until tomorrow when the entry ban expires. If he had just waited a day later, everything would have been fine. You know that if we did not react, the opposition would have reacted. It was an awkward set of circumstances, and I must say that Serbia made a mistake there.
Maric: Whom did Vucic call (related to Djuric’s arrest) Haradinaj said: Most probably President Vucic called someone in Pristina, as nobody here wanted this situation to prolong. Nobody called me, and I was not supportive of him (Djuric) being taken to Pristina, I wanted the man taken back to his home and to end this as soon as possible.
Maric on Gulenists arrest – they portrayed you as a guy of weak morals, a drunkard..
PM: Well, something of that is true. Say, I like to drink a glass of brandy. Where I come from, it’s part of the ritual to welcome the guest with a glass of brandy. Not all Albanians are Muslims, nor nationality is the same as faith. Albanians have long been Christians. I respect Turkey and have good relations. But I represent Kosovo. I decided that because of this extradition, about which I was not informed, I represent what is my duty. The director of the police was not replaced, but the minister and director of the intelligence service were.
Maric: Many believe that this conflict with America came about because of America. Haradinaj is known as an American man, while the problem between the US and Turkey originated precisely because of Fetullah Gulen, who was designated by Ankara as an organizer of the coup there.
PM: We are part of Europe, and we work with Brussels and Berlin. However, when foreign policy is concerned, we are part of a club of countries led by America. It’s not a problem for us to admit, we do not have time to deal with problems in the world.
Maric: Although the political picture gives one perception, the economic one is completely different.
PM: I think that from all the countries, Serbia exports most of its goods here. I said this to your man from the Chamber of Commerce: are you aware that you are distributing here goods of the country that is blocking us? And here there is a problem with people who are wondering if it is right for Serbia to be so represented on this market.
Maric: How come you never met with President Vucic?
PM: It was not an agenda so far. The essence is for the negotiations to continue, not only among politicians, but also among people.
Maric on PM’s time in ICTY:
PM: The Hague was a new Yugoslavia, but from a nationalist perspective. The reality was that we lived very badly under Milosevic. The authorities and the police did terrible things, but Serbian people knew it was not right. I would ask the official Belgrade to provide more space to the Serbs from here. It’s kind of usual for the capital to use the surroundings.
Maric on Haradinaj’s past and his alleged responsibility for the crimes against Serbs
PM: I saw it on your television, and I was sorry for the Serbs who have to listen to this propaganda. It’s normal for me to talk about it during the war, when the two sides are in conflict. But I do not understand why that continued after the conflict.
Maric directly asked Haradinaj if he had killed someone?
PM: I do not know, probably, war is war. I wore uniform aware of consequences. I have lost two brothers in uniform, and also a Serbian soldier is thinking the same when he goes to a war. If you cannot stand it, then do not enter the conflict.
Maric asked PM how he managed to avoid the Hague prison sentence on two occasions.
PM: Truth. I grew up in a normal family and we lived honorably. One of the witnesses, who is alleged to have been a witness in my trial, was beaten by a Serb in a cafe fight. Ask him, he is now in Montenegro, whether I hired him to kill that person. Prosecutor Serge Brammertz said in Belgrade that there was no evidence against me as written in the indictment.
Maric: Here is a widely held view that America gave Milosevic time to clear the KLA in a few months, and when it failed, then they intervened and solved the matter in their own way.
PM: The Americans gave Milosevic everything to destroy the KLA and he failed to do so. They sent troops, special units, but we were still there. The Serbian army was losing morale as time passed. They sent various units, but the morale was no bigger. Let’s say, on the 24th of March, 1998, I was in a family house. A couple of weeks earlier, Jashari was defeated. Only a year later, NATO arrived. You know, no matter what kind of army you send, you cannot be against the will of the people.
Maric jokingly: How drugs contribute to dependence everywhere, only in Kosovo it contributed to its independence, Haradinaj said “There is no drug here, just corn and beans. The drug does not grow here.”
Maric: “Not even in your cabinet?”
PM: I do not know, go yourself, so you see. It’s just hard to live here. To tell you something, the Serbs working in Switzerland live as Swiss. But the Albanian does not. Like a small community. They send almost all the money to the head of the family, so he distributes it. He does not spend money there but he buys a property and a house here, so after 50 years he says this is what I created.
Maric: How come you hang out with Serbs in the ICTY but not at liberty?
PM: Who said that? Well, I’m seeing the Serbs and we are hanging out. Here I congratulated Christmas and Easter, we do not always agree but we agree.
Haradinaj said that Albanians are not Muslims by identity and he is not proud of those images of the demolition of Serbian churches and monasteries in a pogrom.
PM: I was with Serb families, I visited Serbian monasteries, but I will not say which, let them say. We also have Orthodox, Albanian, churches.
Kosovo PM also denied that members of Al Qaeda and later of ISIS were in Kosovo.
PM: They never stayed here, neither the Arabs nor anyone from the side.
For the end, Haradinaj “revealed” a secret from the past.
PM: “I do not know if you know this, but when we talk about the Battle of Kosovo, it should be said that the Albanian units participated, and that they were not too happy for someone to come from anywhere into their territory,” Haradinaj said, alluding that Serbs and Albanians fought together against the Ottoman Empire.