Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic decided not to show up at the grand opening ceremony of the European Games in Minsk as there was a team of Kosovo athletes under the flag of the republic. His refusal spoilt Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s mood, Vucic told reporters.
“I had difficulty informing [Alyaksandr Lukashenka] that I will not attend the ceremony, because I know that he took great pains to have everything arranged. He got [Russian Prime Minister] Medvedev seated next to him; I was expected to be seated on his other hand, which is a great priviledge. He told me he would not go to the stadium without me. It was hard to see such a strong man’s being close to tears when I said that we could not participate [in the ceremony],” sport.blic.rs quotes the Serbian leader.
In his opinion, he had to act as the president of Serbia. He did not have a grudge against Lukashenka, Vucic added.
Aleksandar Vucic arrived in Minsk on June, 21 and held a private meeting with the Belarusian leader before the opening ceremony.
In accordance with the Constitution of Serbia, Kosovo remains part of the Serbian state. At the same time, 108 United Nations member countries (of 193) recognise its independence. Supporting Serbia, Russia and Belarus are critical of the idea of Kosovo’s nationhood.