In Belgrade’s first official response, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski fled to Hungary via Serbia, but before a warrant was issued and sent to Belgrade. He also said that Gruevski was accompanied by two Hungarian nationals from Macedonia to Albania.

This is Belgrade’s first reaction after Gruevski fled Macedonia to avoid serving a prison sentence, even though there was much speculation that he fled through Serbia.

Vučić told Serbian television “Hepi” that Gruevski from Macedonia entered Albania, then Montenegro and through Serbia entered the Hungarian border at the Horgos border crossing.

According to the Serbian President, Nikola Gruevski left Macedonia on November 11 and identified himself with an ID card. Accompanied by two Hungarian nationals, they then entered the territory of Albania, from where they entered Montenegro at the border crossing “Hani Hoti – Božaj”.

“Then, on November 11, after 22.30 pm, through the border crossing “Gostun” entered Serbia with an ID card, and on November 12th entered Hungary at the border crossing “Horgos”, with an ID and pass he received from the Hungarian Embassy in Albania,” said Vučić .

The Serbian President said that Serbia did not make a mistake in regards to the situation and could not act differently other than to allow the former Macedonian prime minister entry and exit from the territory. It was handled in accordance with the law, he said.

“An international arrest warrant from Interpol – Skopje was issued on November 13, at 19:35 pm. What do you expect? To arrest people without an arrest warrant? Or without an international arrest warrant? Said Vučić , adding that if they had done so, it would be kidnapping.

When asked when he last heard from Gruevski, Vučić replied that it was during the unrest in the Parliament on 27 April 2017, when Gruevski from Vienna asked him to appeal for calm. However, as the Serbian president explained, they talked again later, regarding the European People’s Party.

The President of Serbia also stated that “Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has established “normal communications”.

“Serbia has no bad relations with Macedonia, they are one of our closest nations and we will always have good relations,” Vučić told “Hepi”.