Serbian presiden tells FT that frozen conflicts can "melt"

And when that happens, it is a catastrophe for everyone, according to the Serbian president.

Vucic also announced continued reforms, which have already led to three years of budget surpluses, and remains convinced that only an agreement with Pristina will bring lasting peace to the region, which, according to the newspaper, is "still suffering from the consequences of wars in the wake of Yugoslavia's collapse."

"Those who think that it is possible to contain a frozen conflict - it is never frozen because at some moment it melts. And when that happens it is a catastrophe for everyone," Vucic said in an interview conducted after the Orthodox Eve ceremonies - celebrated on January 6 in Serbia - at the Presidency building in Belgrade.

The Financial Times writes that Vucic on the occasion hosted "some of those accused by the west of threatening the region's tenuous peace - among them was Bosnian Serb strongman Milorad Dodik, who has been under US sanctions for two years because of 'a significant risk of obstructing the implementation of the Dayton accords', which ended the 1992-1995 Bosnian war," but also Andrija Mandic and Milan Knezevic - "pro-Russian politicians from Montenegro "whom prosecutors "indicted them for allegedly organizing a coup in 2016 to try to prevent the country's accession to NATO."

"Notwithstanding such ties," the article continues, "western diplomats have placed their faith in Vucic, once a hard-line nationalist."

The newspaper goes on to state that "many Serbs" consider Kosovo "the cradle of their Serbian Orthodox faith," and that "an array of Vucic's domestic opponents, from left-wing leaders to hard-line nationalist conservatives, have attacked him for considering territorial compromise with...

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