Aleksandar Vucic said any Western representative who comes to visit starts by demanding that Belgrade slap sanctions on Moscow
The West is not giving up on steamrolling Serbia into imposing sanctions on Russia, the country’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, has revealed. However, he said Belgrade has so far been able to resist the pressure.
Speaking to Serbia’s Happy TV channel on Monday, Vucic said that “whoever comes [to Belgrade feels their] first obligation is to explain to me that I am a jerk who did not introduce sanctions.”
The Serbian head of state acknowledged that he had already gotten used to constant “pressure [and] ultimatums” from Western representatives.
Last month, the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee slammed Serbia for its failure to join the EU sanctions against Russia, and urged Belgrade to shut down Russian “disinformation” outlets, including RT Balkans.
The US State Department also called for a ban on the media outlet, which began broadcasting in November 2022.
Speaking in mid-March, President Vucic reiterated that his government’s “position is to not impose sanctions” on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine. He made it clear that this could be changed only in “circumstances when there is no way out.”
His remark came in response to calls made earlier that month by the country’s Economy Minister Rade Basta on social media. Basta argued that Belgrade should impose punitive measures because Western pressure was becoming unbearable.
The minister quickly came under fire from within his own party for his comments.
Serbia has resisted pressure from the EU and the US to sanction Russia, citing, among other things, the apparent discrepancy between Western demands that Belgrade recognize the independence of the breakaway province of Kosovo and their simultaneous insistence on Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
May 09, 2023 at 01:30PM