'Mean and sneaky lie'
SNS denies Nikolic's statement about Vukovar
The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) on Friday denied that Serbian President-elect and its former leader Tomislav Nikolic had said that the eastern Croatian town of Vukovar was a Serb town to which Croats had no reason to come back.
Beta news agency cited an SNS press release as saying that Nikolic's office denied in vehement terms that he had given a statement to any newspaper from the day the SNS was established, let alone between the two rounds of Serbia's recent presidential election, in which he said that Vukovar was a Serb town and that Croats had no reason to return there.
The press release said this was a "mean and sneaky lie" and that Nikolic's policy would be aimed at peace-building and stability in the region.
Nikolic told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the project of a Greater Serbia was an unrealised dream of his and that today he respected Croatia's internationally recognised border, but that Croats had no reason to return to Vukovar "because it was a Serb town."
He spoke to the paper ahead of a presidential runoff in Serbia held last Sunday. The journalist asked him how his previous statements about a Greater Serbia would be received in Serbia's neighbours, such as Croatia, if he was elected president.
Nikolic said "there are dreams which one can never realise. For a long time I can see that Croatia is an internationally recognised country and that Croatia's borders are on the Danube and that there will be no change of borders. The same applies to Bosnia and Herzegovina. (...) My dreams from the time of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, when decisions were made on where somebody would live, unfortunately, haven't come true and, as it is, they will not come true."
Asked to comment on the fact that more Serbs live in Vukovar today than ten years ago, Nikolic said "that's because Vukovar was a Serb town" and "Croatians have no reasons to come back there".