Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Reacts to Ukrainian Ambassador’s Statement

MFA RSFollowing the statement made today by Ambassador of Ukraine in the Republic of Serbia Oleksandr Aleksandrovych for the B92 website and for the O2 TV channel, where he claimed, inter alia, that the relations between Serbia and Ukraine had been violated by Serbia’s vote “against Ukraine”, referring to the Resolution on the human rights situation in Crimea, and his statement to the effect that he has been waiting for 14 months for an audience with the Serbian Foreign Minister, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to point to the following facts:

When the proposal concerning UNESCO membership of the so-called Republic of Kosovo was put to the vote in 2015, the Ukrainian delegation was not present, which was in direct contravention of the vital interests of the Republic of Serbia. Moreover, Ukraine supports the proposals put forward by Western countries related to the change in the mandate of UNMIK, and the change in the dynamic of UNSC meetings devoted to the work of UNMIK, which Serbia opposes fiercely.

During its OSCE Chairmanship, both the Republic of Serbia and Minister Dacic showed commitment to the peaceful settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, which Minister Klimkin described in laudable terms, too.

From the beginning of his mission in the Republic of Serbia, the Ambassador of Ukraine has been continuously making undiplomatic and unacceptable assessments about Serbia’s foreign policy and its officials. The latest such examples include his interview for Radio Free Europe of 28 October 2016 (“Serbia Cannot Have It Both Ways”), the one given for the Blic daily dated 16 November 2016 (“Putin Will Sell You Out”), and a recent interview claiming that Russia is misusing Serbia in order to wreak havoc and unleash a war in the Balkans.

When foreign representatives go beyond the framework of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, one of the routine measures applied in the diplomatic practice is to reduce contacts to the working level. Therefore, the Ambassador of Ukraine has had several meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the course of 2017 at the Assistant Minister and Deputy Assistant Minister level.

Reciprocity is another generally accepted diplomatic principle. Having in mind that Ambassador of the Republic of Serbia in Ukraine Rade Bulatovic has never had an audience with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Klimkin and that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine attends the functions hosted by the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia at the Chief of Protocol level, the Republic of Serbia has neither the obligation nor the reason to act differently.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets to note that Ambassador Aleksandrovych has stated that his Ministry’s position is “almost identical” with his own, but nevertheless remains committed to overcoming points of disagreement and to promoting bilateral relations.