Vučić’s visit to Paris – “visit of visits” or “capital loss for Serbia”

The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, is on a two-day visit to Paris, and the visit, as assessed, is primarily of economic and military importance. As Vučić said today, among other things, Serbia is not able to manage large systems, such as the metro in Belgrade, and this is where the space for French companies opens up.

He pointed out at the France-Serbia business council that Serbia also needs cooperation with companies for the construction of landfills, waste management and in other areas, with which large contracts are concluded for many years. There was also talk about the cooperation between the two countries in the electricity sector. The president also announced that Serbia is on the threshold of concluding a contract with the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault on the purchase of Rafale aircraft. The number of 12 planes is mentioned, which could cost as much as three billion euros.

The pro-regime media called Vučić’s visit to Paris “the visit of visits”, and former Serbian ambassador to France Radomir Diklić assesses that the welcome that Macron gave to the Serbian president is a normal procedure when he invites world statesmen as guests and that it is a coordinated ceremony.

“The visit is certainly important for Serbia, but we should not exaggerate it.” And Macron said that it was an important state visit, that Vučić came at his invitation,” says Diklić.

SSP Vice President Dušan Nikezić says that “it is a huge problem that in the pro-regime media every visit is evaluated as unreserved support for Vučić, which is not true.”

He believes that Vučić’s visit “can only represent a capital loss for Serbia”.

“Vučić said that France will pay for the dinner at the Elysée Palace, but that is the only thing that will pay, the citizens of Serbia will pay the highest price through new borrowings and the giving of the most valuable resources.” In the end, everything ends up with projects that are negotiated outside the public eye,” warns Nikezić.

He adds that these projects were not adopted in the way they should be, “they are strategic areas, and they had to go through both an expert discussion and a tender process and be adopted by a legitimate government, not by a technical mandate, and they cannot be negotiated by the president”.

“What we end up with is that we lose our most valuable resources and incur huge debts.” We have no money for any of these projects, so we are left with borrowing. In the first two months of this year, we spent 53 billion dinars on interest alone, that’s 10 clinical centers. We alienate the most valuable resources through non-transparent processes. “Every big project would have to go through a tender procedure,” Nikezic believes.

He points out that here “the semblance of support for Vučić, who is in the midst of a political crisis in Serbia, is being bought.”

Nikezić: “There is not a single sector of the electricity industry that should be developed by foreigners”
When it comes to cooperation with France in the field of the electrical industry, he believes that “there is no sector of the electrical industry that should be developed by foreigners, if we don’t have a technology, then we should buy it.”

It indicates that we have huge reserves within our power system, that we should open all the mines, so that no more coal is imported”.

He reminds us that we have a problem with huge losses in the transmission system, and if they revitalized 35,000 transformer stations, those losses would be significantly reduced, “and we can do all that ourselves.”

He also states that cooperation is being agreed with EDF in the framework of hydropower plants, “and they are the most valuable resource currently in our electricity industry”.

Diklić: “Macron accurately and precisely listed what is expected of Serbia”
Commenting on the political aspect of Vucic’s visit, Diklic said that Macron “yesterday accurately and precisely listed what is expected of Serbia.”

He said that it is good that we definitely decided on the European path, and he described that path as progress in the field of media, the development of democracy, and the electoral process. He also mentioned Kosovo, saying that Banjska must not happen again and that both sides have taken small steps, to which Vučić reacted, saying that Serbia did do something, but, when it comes to the ZSO, which is the obligation of the Kosovo side, the matter has not moved even a step. The French president also asked to solve the dinar payment problem in Kosovo.

Therefore, Diklić assesses, he has listed everything that is expected from Serbia, pointing out that it is very important how Macron arranged it.

“First, he spoke about the fact that the journey to Europe means democratization of society, fair elections, free media.” He drew attention to the fact that the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is very important for Europe, and that in this sense he expects some cooperation from Serbia,” said Diklić.

He added that “unfortunately, we will not find out what the two of them discussed in private, because in our country there is no custom for the president to report to the parliament or any of its narrower collegiums.”

“(Vučić) tried to introduce two more issues: Kosovo’s entry into the Council of Europe and the resolution of the UN General Assembly on the genocide in Srebrenica, and he asked for France’s help there,” says Diklic.

He believes that when it comes to the entry of Kosovo into the Council of Europe, France, which is one of the initiators of the Ohrid Agreement in which it is written that Serbia will not prevent the admission of Pristina to international institutions, will not change its position in any way, and as for the resolution on Srebrenica, he emphasizes that that’s where our diplomacy should do the main work – to lobby the members, because voting is by majority vote”. He believes that we do not need the help of France here.

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