A Serbian tabloid has demanded a public apology from U.S. Ambassador Kyle Scott for calling it "trash" and said it would sue the diplomat if he did not take back his words.
Scott criticized the Informer daily in a comment to journalists on May 18, accusing it of publishing lies and adding that the newspaper is "ordinary trash."
The ambassador "for no reason and unprovoked insulted the newspaper in a vulgar manner," the paper said in a statement on its website, adding that it would sue Scott both in Serbia and the United States if he did not apologize.
The incident began when Scott was asked for a comment by a journalist from the Informer about a report it had published saying the EU plans to hinder Serbia's membership negotiations "because some officials do not like the way [Prime Minister and President-elect] Aleksandar Vucic leads Serbia."
A video of the question, posted by the Tanjug news agency, shows Scott saying in Serbian: "Are you from the Informer? Forgive me for saying this, but it won't be the only lie I've read in the Informer, and it probably won't be the last.
"There is so-called information based on sources that I have no idea who they are. The Informer is ordinary trash, as your prime minister would say. Media should be based on facts, and I see no facts in the Informer."
Officials from the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade were not immediately available for comment.
With reporting by B92 and Informer