Serbia’s foreign minister, Ivica Dacic, was quoted this week as bemoaning the fact that his country recognized the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM) as “Republic of Macedonia”, the constitutional name preferred by the one-time Yugoslav constituent but sternly opposed by Athens.
His comments were disseminated by the Serbian news agency Beta.
“(Serbia) made a mistake when it recognized that country under its constitutional name ,” Dacic said, speaking during an interview on Serbian foreign policy and several open issues facing Belgrade in its regional relations.
His comments regarding the fYRoM ‘name issue’ were related to a subsequent decision by the Skopje government to recognize Kosovo’s independence from Serbia.
“Serbia made a big mistake here. All of Europe and the world are using the name ‘Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ (FRYOM), whereas we slapped our brothers the Greeks, and now expect the Greeks not to recognize Kosovo – while we recognized ‘Macedonia’ by insulting the Greeks, and they (former) are always voting in favor of Kosovo. I must say, we’ve been the fools. There, I’ll use an undiplomatic term,” he was quoted as saying.
He also said the Serbian government will continue to use Skopje’s “constitutional name” in bilateral relations, but will use the provision name for the land-locked state by which it is recognized by the United Nations, the EU and Greece, i.e. fYRoM.