Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters on Tuesday that the world is “approaching a major war” on the scale of World War II.
With the Serbian capital of Belgrade just a day’s drive from the front lines in southern Ukraine, he definitely isn’t watching from the cheap seats.
According to the Anadolu Agency, Vucic was interviewed by Serbian public broadcaster Radio Television while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.
“I think we are going to go from a special military operation to a major war and the question is where the red line will be,” he said, according to Euronews.
“We are going to enter a large-scale global conflict the likes of which we haven’t seen since World War II in the next one or two months.”
Vucic’s warning shouldn’t be taken idly.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is threatening the West with nuclear retaliation while he holds a “referendum” in captured Ukrainian regions to justify their annexation. ABC News on Friday described “pro-Russian soldiers with assault rifles going door to door collecting ballots.”
Putin has also called up over 300,000 military reservists to enter the fray.
Vucic accused the world powers of endangering his country by weakening the UN and “de facto” destroying the global order, Euronews reported.
“For us who are small and who want to guarantee security for our citizens, this is not good news and I expect that things will become even more complicated between the West and the Russian Federation and also between the West and China,” he said.
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Vucic had more harsh words for his fellow world leaders during a Thursday address at the General Assembly.
“Our words make a hollow and empty echo compared to the reality that we are facing,” he said, according to the Anadolu Agency. “The reality is that no one listens to anyone, no one strives for real agreements and problem solving, and almost everyone cares only about their own interests.”
“Despite our position, many in this hall still have a problem with respect for the territorial integrity of Serbia,” Vucic said, referring to Kosovo, a breakaway region whose independence from Serbia has been recognized by most of the UN.
“You wonder why?” he asked. “Because they possess the power and we are small and weak in their eyes. However, as you could hear, we still have the strength to speak the truth in this place.”
Vucic compared the situation in Ukraine to that in Serbia.
He wondered aloud, “What is the difference between the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia, which was grossly violated and for which you provided international recognition and legitimacy — at least, some of you. Nobody has ever provided a rational answer to this question.”