Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, expressed his concern over the lack of reaction of the international community with the glorification of the war criminals by Serbian leaders.
In a statement posted in his twitter account, Hoxhaj said that by defending war criminals and denying the collective guilt for past crimes, Serbia is fuelling tensions and delaying regional reconciliation. “Appalled by the growing glorification and rehabilitation of war criminals by Serbian Government and the lack of international condemnation. By defending war criminals and denying the collective guilt for past crimes, Serbia is fuelling tensions and delaying regional reconciliation,” Hoxhaj wrote.
Hoxhaj’s reaction came after Serbian minister of Defence, Aleksandar Vulin, spoke at a gathering of former soldiers of the Third Battalion of the Yugoslav Army last Saturday. The gathering was attended by convicted war criminals Vladimir Lazarevic, the former chief of staff of the Yugoslav Army’s Pristina Corps, and Nikola Sainovic, former deputy prime minister of Yugoslavia, who have returned to Serbia after serving their sentences after The Hague Tribunal on war crimes found them guilty on committing crimes against Albanians during the war in Kosovo. Vulin said in his speech that Serbia will no longer be ashamed of those who “defended it, and that time has come to be “quietly proud” instead.
Against Vulin’s statement reacted also the US ambassador to Belgrade, Kyle Scott, who said that Vulin’s expressions of support for convicted war criminals Vladimir Lazarevic and Nikola Sainovic might undermine efforts to improve Serbia’s image.