Jelisaveta Pavlovic

флаг Сербия флаг сербский флагJelisaveta Pavlovic

Serbians do not want to lose Kosovo or be a part of the EU

Download audio file 24 April, 02:36  

With the Serbian Government on the verge of signing an agreement that will recognize the independence of Kosovo and in fact expand the influence of and grant legitimacy to Albanian separatists who are in illegal violation of international law in particular with regard to violating the territorial integrity of the sovereign state of Serbia, the Serbian people are angry and protesting the government. Despite their anger they feel hopelessness that their government is not listening. The European Union has dangled the carrot of European integration in front of politicians seeking to improve economic conditions, yet the people want nothing of Europe. John Robles spoke to Jelisaveta Pavlovic about these issues and more.

Hello, this is John Robles. I'm speaking with Jelisaveta Pavlovic she's a student at Belgrade University in the Law Faculty and a student protest organizer.

Robles: Hello, Jelisaveta, how are you?

Pavlovic: I'm very good.

Robles: The Western media is full of reports that Serbia is going to reach an agreement or has reached an agreement with Kosovo which will legitimize Kosovo. Is that true?

Pavlovic: Yes, this is completely true. During the tenth round of negotiations in Brussels between Belgrade and Pristina a certain treaty with Pristina has been initialed by our Prime Minister Ivica Dacic. And we are aware that it’s going to get signed, and yes, this is the kind of treaty that practically acknowledges the independence of Kosovo.

Robles: I understand it could be stopped if the president decides to veto it. Is there any chance of that happening, do you think?

Pavlovic: We don't know that. The president has not said anything yet and we do not what his reaction might be or what it depends on. We don't know what is happening between the parties and the government, between the political parties. So I don't think that the president will have the will and strength to put a veto on the agreement. No.

Robles: The Western press says that a majority of Serbian people support these moves and want to become a part of Europe. Would you say that's true or not?

Pavlovic: That is definitely not true! The latest analysis shows that 50% of the people are against going into the European Union and my experience from the streets, because I’m in the streets of Belgrade the whole day promoting the student protests, is that the people are very against going into the European Union and that they're pretty angry, but at the same time they're pretty hopeless and this is a strange mixture. But no, people are definitely against going into the European Union, there's no doubt about that.

Robles: All right, so you've got 50% against, at least 50% are against the European Union. What percentage is against granting Kosovo any kind of independence?

Pavlovic: There isn't an analysis that shows that percentage. I don't think this it is a coincidence because I think that the truth is vast amounts of people would be against losing Kosovo. There isn't an analysis that shows that, but if you ask me, it is a vast amount of people, it is a complete majority of people that are against losing Kosovo. I had to say what I think, what are my assessments, I think like 75 to 80% of the people are completely against losing Kosovo, without relating it to the European Union. And I think that larger amounts of people would be against losing Kosovo for the European Union. So no, I think no. There isn’t any chance that the people are for losing Kosovo.

Robles: Do people debate the fact that Kosovo is legally, and has been a part of Serbia and that its seeking independence is illegal in nature.

Pavlovic: No, they're not debating it. It's crystal clear subject. Nobody is debating it. The only problem with the people is that they don't believe anything can be done about it. But if you ask them, none of them has the idea that what is happening now with Kosovo is legal and is according to our constitution, to the resolution 1244 or to the whole of international law. No, nobody is debating it. It's a matter out of debate. It's a crystal clear subject.

Robles: That's crystal clear. It’s illegal. How is the government going to deal with the Serbian people if they try to push this through?

Pavlovic: I don't see what their plan is except for just going ahead and not caring about the consequences, because a lot of people are protesting, a lot of opposition parties, I think almost all of the opposition parties are protesting these days, tomorrow they have announced four different protests by different political parties and the students.

And today there was a preliminary protest in the main square in Belgrade by the opposition political party and only then 3,000 people showed. And this was a preliminary protest. Tomorrow is the main protest of all opposition political parties. So I really don't know what our government is thinking about and really I don't understand how they think this can pass.

Robles: How many people showed up today? This was a preliminary demonstration.

Pavlovic: On the preliminary demonstration there were 3,000 people. And this is just by one party, one opposition political party. And tomorrow there will be four opposition political parties protesting. And the students are protesting tomorrow. And today only 3,000 people showed up to one of the preliminary protests. I think there's a vast possibility that 10 to15 thousand people will go out on the streets tomorrow. So I don't see what the government thinks about how are they going to control the people, I don't know.

Robles: So you're going to be protesting with 5 or 6 political parties tomorrow?

Pavlovic: The students are independent as always. We're not protesting with them. We have our own location for the protest. We have our own organization. Of course we're informed about the actions of the other political parties, due to common sense and coordination. But we're not cooperating with none of them. But the fact is that tomorrow the government is deciding on whether to sign the agreement, the treaty with Pristina.

It's only logical that all of us go from different places, different locations throughout the city, and go to the government, in front of the government, because there isn’t any place that is more logical to protest the postion of the government than in front of the building of the government.

So eventually the students and opposition political parties will eventually all be in one place, but that does not mean that we are altogether and that we're cooperating on a political level.

Robles: I see. Listen, if they sign tomorrow, if they decide to sign this agreement, will that be the end of it, or will there be something that can be done further down the line?

Pavlovic: No, no! That will not be the end of it. Even if the government decides to sign the agreement, it has to go through the National Assembly. It has to be verified by the National Assembly of Serbia. And when it is verified by them, that is the end. We are putting great pressure on our government not to sign, and I think if they sign that we will put even more pressure on the National Assembly not to sign the treaty.

Kosovo is Part of Serbia, No to Capitulation 

Download audio file   9 April, 17:07  

While the government of Serbia continues to negotiate in good faith with Pristina, the European Union continues to attempt to force Serbia into accepting western plans for Serbia in particular with regard to Kosovo. For all intents and purposes the EU is blackmailing the Serbian government by tying European Union integration with the giving up of Kosovo. Kosovo is an important integral part of Serbia and the loss of Kosovo will lead to a doomsday scenario for the Serbian people and the complete break up of Serbia. The Serbian people are tired of war and struggling so it is up to the students and the young people to stand up. The VOR spoke to Jelisaveta Pavlovic she is a student doing just that.

Hello, this is John Robles. I'm speaking with Jelisaveta Pavlovic, she's a law student at Belgrade University and one of the student protest organizers.

Robles: Hello, Jelisaveta!

How are you?

Robles: I'm very well! How are you this evening? We've had a lot of problems getting a hold of you. I understand you have a lot of problems with your phones out there. That's strange.

Pavlovic: Yeah, yeah. We have a lot of problems with our phones, because we have information that the phones are being tapped. So any international phone call is blocked. But tonight is very busy, because tomorrow is the protest, so this is the final night of the organization.

Robles: Can you tell us what the current negotiations in Brussels mean in literal terms for the Serbian people?

Pavlovic: Yes, of course. This is the eighth round of the negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina, in Brussels. And the main problem is that before Serbia… Serbia is put before an ultimatum and the ultimatum says that Serbia has to sign a treaty with Pristina.

And signing that treaty would mean abolishing all Serbian institutions in the Northern Kosovo, which means that self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo would gain jurisdiction even on the North territories. And this is obviously a problem for Serbia, because it is in our Constitution and it says in the Resolution of United Nations 1244, that Kosovo is a territory of Serbia.

So this would mean capitulation for Serbia. This would mean signing off a piece of our territory, which is unacceptable.

Robles: This would expand Kosovo’s reach, right?

Pavlovic: Well, yes. Once you lose a part of your territory without any problem whatsoever, it's easy to lose any other part of the territory. And we have problems with the North parts of Serbia, the Vojvodina area. So once we lose Kosovo, which would, if you ask me will never happen, but if it did, it would mean a total doom for Serbia. Serbia would fall into pieces. And this is a problem.

We're organizing a protest in hope to put pressure on our government, namely our Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and our President Tomislav Nicolic not to sign the capitulation.

Robles: Now, I understand, majority of the Serbian people are completely against this and are not interested in being part of the European Union. Is that correct?

Pavlovic: Yes, the majority, by the last analysis, about 60% of the people is against going into the European Union and probably a larger amount of them is against losing Kosovo, but it is a problem with Serbian people, because we are against losing Kosovo and we're against going into the European Union and yet we have the government who is leading us in a direction that we do not want and this is a problem.

The other problem is that the people are passive. We are so tired of being in war and constantly struggling, that you have a people led in the direction that it doesn't want to be led, but it doesn’t have the strength, or it lacks the strength to fight back, so this is the role of students, of the young people of Serbia to fight back the government who is not obeying the people.

Robles: How many people do you think are going to take part in the demonstrations tomorrow? The demonstrations are going to take place on April, 9th, right?

Pavlovic: That's the second part. The main part of the protest is April, 9th, but we are going in some of the government buildings tomorrow morning.

A group of students will be camping in front of the government. And we're hoping that we'll be joined by the students from Kosovo, we have organized the bus for them to come and we're expecting a couple of hundred people tomorrow, because this is the smaller part of the protest.

The main part of the protest is on Tuesday at noon. And we're hoping certainly like 5,000 people to come. We are hoping. But the problem is that the Prime Minister Dacic said that he would give his final answer tomorrow and this is the information we got this afternoon. So this it is a very big question, we couldn't foresee that in our organization.

This is a big question how many people will come. I'm hoping that it would be thousands and I think it would be. So right now the organization of students is trying to pull as many people as possible, who think that the main protest is on Tuesday, to come tomorrow.

Robles: Do you think that was done especially to avoid a massive demonstration?

Pavlovic: Yes, definitely. Because currently there's another protest by a political party, the opposition political party, one of them. They're protesting on the main square in Belgrade. And the students are now protesting. And I'm sure that this is just a way for the government to go by as mildly as possible without any negative results, because even if they decided to give a negative response in to Brussels, which is not to sign the capitulation, they would see by the amount of people going to the protests that they do not have the support of the people, that they have lost their legitimacy. And I think that they changed the date of going public with a decision, because they don't want the number of people to be known, how many people do not support the government. Yes, I'm pretty sure that's the reason why.

Robles: That would indicate to me that then their decision has already been made and they're going to go ahead and sign that. Do you think that's true?

Pavlovic: We multiple information and all of the information is very different. We have the information that tomorrow during the day our President and Prime Minister are going to a meeting with the Patriarch to talk to him and we have the information that Mr. Dacic, our Prime Minister, is ready to sign the capitulation, but not our President, and vice-versa we also have the information that the president is willing to sign the capitulation, but not our prime minister. And all of these versions come from very reliable sources. I think they made the decision. I don't think that anybody knows for sure what is going to be.

Robles: What's the position of the Serbian Orthodox Church on this?

Pavlovic: The position of Serbian Orthodox Church is that they supported Kosovo, the position of the Serbian church is that Kosovo is a part of Serbia. And it is very important for us.

 

 

Last Update: 07/16/2017 18:40 +0300

 

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