President of the Serb National Council (SNV) and Member of Parliament, Milorad Pupovac, on Wednesday morning paid his respects to Skabrnja and Nadin victims by lighting candles in the Serb Orthodox Church of the Holy Transfiguration in Zagreb, noting that this gesture was the first step.
SNV president had previsously said he might come to the Remembrance Day commemoration in Skabrnja this year, but this morning he said that after a conversation with Skabrnja Mayor and a local priest he had decided to pay his respects in Zagreb.
We believe that that step will also follow and that I will light a candle and lay flowers in the place where the terrible atrocities took place, first in Skabrnja and then in Nadin, to show deep respect to such a large number of people who were killed on this day in 1991, Pupovac told state television HRT.
He said that he thought most people were ready for his visit to Skabrnja, but there were some people in the Croatian public and politics who were constantly instigating hatred and making an enemy out of a friend.
He said that that was "neither an accurate nor a good picture", adding that it does not affect him personally, but that it is doing harm to this society by maintaining hatred and intolerance and preventing people from making peace with each other.
Pupovac said that important gestures had been made in Vukovar yesterday and today, and that a significant step had been made in the relations between us in Croatia and in relations between Croatia and Serbia.
On Tuesday, a delegation of the SNV paid respects to the sacrifices made by Vukovar citizens in the 1991-1995 war. Deputy Prime Minister Boris Milosevic, SNV president Milorad Pupovac, the Serbian president's special envoy Veran Matic and a member of the NGO "Against Forgetting", Radojka Mrsic, laid a wreath for Vukovar's Serb victims on the Danube river and then at the Ovcara memorial. At the end of the commemoration, Pupovac and the delegation lit candles for all victims in St Nicholas' Church in Vukovar.
Milosevic and Matic are also participating in the commemoration in Vukovar today.