Skip to main content
May 10, 1993
. Vreme News Digest Agency No 85
Interview with the leader of the Serbian Radical Party Vojislav Seselj

Serbia, a Time-Bomb

by Ivan Radovanovic

Vojislav Seselj can now freely say that he had guessed. While Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, along with Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis, Yugoslav President Dobrica Cosic and Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic was trying to convince the stubborn Bosnian Serbs to sign the Vance-Owen plan (Wednesday, around 7 o'clock PM), when VREME asked him in Belgrade what he expected from the Bosnian Serb Assembly in Pale, the leader of the Serbian radicals replied: "I would like them to reject the plan, but, at the same time, I am afraid they will give in. However, according to some sources of mine, it is possible that they will say neither yes nor no, but rather postpone everything and hold a referendum".

If this happens, won't it be a slap in the face to the federal and republican leaderships who went there to convince them to do the opposite?

Yes, I am also afraid of their vanity (of the Serbian and Yugoslav leaderships - author's remark) if they get that slap in the face, although, if I were in their shoes, I would be relieved after that "no" of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, because then no one would be able to tell them that they didn't do everything to convince the Bosnian Serbs to accept the plan. They were there, they kept persuading them, Mitsotakis was there as the key witness, but, nevertheless, they didn't accept it. After that no one would be able to accuse Serbia.

You have been consistently supporting the Bosnian Serbs' rejection of the plan. Were you aware that you were actually opposing Milosevic?

Yes I was. I still am. I know that we are directly opposing the Socialist Party of Serbia. And that it is our opposition that bothers them the most. However, we could not renounce our policy.

You said that what the Serbian and Yugoslav leaderships are doing now is not treason. Do you find anything else disputable in their conduct, for instance, violation of the Constitution?

There is no violation of the Constitution, but there is a violation of the Yugoslav Parliament's Declaration of last April with which Yugoslavia clearly opted against interfering in the internal affairs of neighboring states. The Serb Republic in B-H is our neighboring state and no one from the Yugoslav leadership has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of a neighboring country. This is a direct interference, a setting of conditions and blackmail on their part...

How are they blackmailing them?

I can't name those who did the blackmailing but there have been threats that deliveries of food and medicine would be suspended...

What will you do with regard to the violation of the Declaration?

We are waiting for a Federal Parliamentary debate on our foreign policy and the country's entire foreign political position, which the Federal Parliament agreed to prepare at the last session. We will decide on our next steps at a meeting of our MPs and a session of the party's main committee.

To what extent will the decision of the Bosnian Serbs affect developments in Serbia? Are clashes possible here?

Every outcome of the Bosnian Serb Assembly session in Pale is very dangerous. If they reject the plan, a foreign military intervention is possible, although I think that it is not as certain as the media are currently trying to present it. Namely, it remains to be seen how far the West is prepared to go. However, if the Vance-Owen plan is signed, I am afraid that around half a million Serb refugees would leave the regions which would be Muslim or Croat controled. For instance: Foca, Visegrad, Rogatica, Vlasenica, Bratunac, Zvornik, Doboj, Jajce, Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, Odzak, Derventa, Brcko, Samac, Modrica... I expect that at least half a million people from those regions would come here. Serbia can no longer endure this. It is a time-bomb.

Are clashes possible due to the fact that the two biggest parties are currently opposed?

Our party will not be the one to cause violence in Serbia or riots. All the conflicts that we will be involved in will take place in parliament. We are aware of the danger the Serbian nation is in, and, for our part, we are trying to avoid increasing this danger and confusion. If we wanted to, we would have the means to do so. For instance, to overthrow the government, to cause various crises, unrest, strikes and so on. We won't do this. We simply consider that we should reexamine things and see where we are and what we are. Sanctions will surely not be lifted for a long time, and they will also try to impose a special status for Sandzak, and autonomy for Kosovo and a special status for the Hungarian minority. All this will once again cause new conflicts.

© Copyright VREME NDA (1991-2001), all rights reserved.