The unrest was “evidently” stirred by third parties, spokesman Dmitry Peskov says
The recent riots in the Serbian capital of Belgrade were provoked by “third parties,” including from abroad, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed on Monday.
Serbia has been hit by a string of mass protests following the parliamentary election of December 17, in which the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) won a decisive victory. The opposition Serbia Against Violence (SPN) coalition, which is pro-EU, has made allegations of “vote theft.”
The unrest escalated on Sunday evening when protesters attempted to besiege government buildings in Belgrade. Police ultimately removed the demonstrators from the center of the city amid violent clashes.
Speaking to the Russian media, Kremlin spokesman Peskov said there was nothing to suggest irregularities in the Serbian elections, explaining that observers “did not record any violations that could cast doubt” on their legitimacy.
“Evidently, there are processes and attempts by third forces, including from abroad, to provoke such unrest in Belgrade. This is what we are seeing. We have no doubt that the leadership of the republic will maintain the rule of law in the country,” Peskov stated.
Moscow maintains a policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries, the Kremlin official stressed, adding that this particularly applies to Russia’s “ally and partner” Serbia.
“Everything that happens in the country is Serbia’s own business. We have never interfered in the internal affairs of other countries and do not intend to,” Peskov said.
The remarks echoed those by Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier in the day. “The attempts of the collective West to shake up the situation in [Serbia] using the techniques of Maidan coups are obvious,” Zakharova said, referencing the 2014 armed uprising in Kiev that saw the overthrow of the elected Ukrainian government.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic denounced the riot in Belgrade as an attempted “color revolution” – a term commonly used to describe movements funded and organized by Western countries, usually the US, aimed at overthrowing leaders opposed to Washington’s interests.
Vucic initially thanked unnamed “foreign services” for warning Belgrade about “exactly what the thugs were preparing.” Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabiс revealed that Belgrade had received vital intelligence from Moscow on the protesters’ plans. “I feel that it is important, especially tonight, to stand up for Serbia and to thank the Russian security services who had that information and who shared it with us,” Brnabic told TV Pink.
December 25, 2023 at 09:12PM