By Milos Mitrovic – Belgrade
Kosovo and Metohija remain the greatest security risk for Serbia, defense minister Bratislav Gasic said in the interview for Belgrade “Danas” daily adding that he “recognizes” KFOR (Kosovo Force) responsibility in that regard.
According to Gasic, Serbia has adequate cooperation with KFOR in order for “Serbian population in the province to be safeguarded and their security preserved”.
“The security of Serbia is also vulnerable from inside, from nationalistic and religious extremisms as well as human trafficking over our territory, terrorism, and in the south of Serbia there are risks that may be transferred to it’s central part”, Gasic said recalling that the first Serbian Army unit he has visited was in the south.
When asked why he has decided to leave the position of Krusevac mayor and accept the minister post, Gasic said that such initiative was launched by prime minister Aleksandar Vucic and Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). He added he was ready to give his “maximum” in every post “in this decisive moment for Serbia and it’s progress”. Gasic said he has gaven his best while engaging in Krusevac, “the town of 140,000 inhabitants and all the problems, and defense minister post is even greater challenge”. Gasic is vice-president of SNS which has won elections in March.
“It’s needless to stress to which extent the things in Serbia have been improved since SNS and Aleksandar Vucic have started to talk and work for the country’s better future. The people trust us and we have the electoral result that has profoundly changed the political scene… This positive aspiration one may feel in the Defense Ministry and in the army… We are part of the reforms that Serbia need”, Gasic said.
Minister said that some of his predecessors “have been devoted to their own self-praise rather than upgrading the capacity of defense system”. He added, however, he “would not run down their performance”, explaining that the defense system “is much better organized than some other (systems) in the country”.
Considering the possibility of a Serbian NATO membership, Gasic said that “wounds inflicted by 1999 bombs are still fresh, thus both sides should not go against that emotion”, adding that the parliamentary declaration on military neutrality is still in force.