Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said he will condemn Russia’s recognition of the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine only if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky publicly condemns the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Serbia on television.
He was responding to the statements of Ukrainian Ambassador Alexander Alexandrovich, who said that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people expect Serbia to condemn Russia’s recognition of Donbass independence.
“We are a small country and we do not want to miss the opportunity to share our friendships with each other [Ländern] “In no way do we determine the fate of Ukraine,” Vucic told PINK TV in Monaco on Tuesday.
“However, if this is the case, then I invite Mr. Alexandrovich to call his country’s president, Mr. Zelensky, and demand that they broadcast the terrible and tragic violations committed by the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and other countries on television. Tonight condemns Serbia and I am sure he will. As soon as he does. So, I will happily accept his invitation and respond to his requests.”
The Serbian president also reiterated that his country is militarily, but not politically neutral, and that he will not abandon traditional friendships.
“Serbia has always supported the unity of Ukraine and this has not changed,” he added.
He said that Serbia had already been pressured to impose sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. This pressure is also expected to increase in the future.
But during a meeting with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, on Monday, he did not apply any pressure on the matter.
However, the Serbian president allowed himself to be criticized with a few critical words about Russia’s actions.
He added that Russia’s decision to officially recognize the independence of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in Ukraine would change the entire fabric of global security. He expressed his concern about the situation and stressed that Serbia’s position was uncomfortable.
Serbia is a candidate country for EU membership, so it is expected to align itself with the EU on foreign policy issues.
In practice, this was not always the case. after Ads According to the European Commission, Serbia’s compliance rate with relevant declarations of the High Representative on behalf of the European Union and with Council decisions was 56 percent in 2020, but increased to 61 percent by August 2021.
Earlier this week, Vucic said: “The Serbian people do not want and will not have NATO.”
In general, the Western Balkans region is concerned about the possible repercussions of the escalation on the Russian-Ukrainian border, especially after a statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in which he claimed to have recruited mercenaries from Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and transferred them to Ukraine. Donbass to fight the Moscow-backed rebels there.
Local governments have denied Moscow’s allegations, but analysts fear the allegations will be used to further destabilize already tense relations between Russia-backed Serbia and US-backed Kosovo.
Similar concerns have been expressed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where tensions are rising between Croat and Bosniak factions and the Serbian-leaning Republika Srpska.
Anxiety in Kosovo
Kosovo’s president, Vuza Osmani, has expressed concerns that Russia will use Serbia, its closest ally in the region, to destabilize the Western Balkans.
Osmani spoke to local media in Kosovo after attending the Munich Security Conference.
These concerns come after Russia accused Kosovo, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina of sending mercenaries to Ukraine. A Russian intelligence statement sent to the director by the Russian embassy in Tirana said that Britain and the United States were using mercenaries from the Western Balkans. 3000 Dollars Paid monthly.
Western Balkan countries described the allegations as absurd and “fake news”.
Speaking to Parliament on Tuesday morning, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said Kosovo supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence.
“Kosovo will always stand by the European Union, the United States and NATO,” he said.
Meanwhile, Vucic warned that the crisis in Ukraine could spread to Europe and especially the Balkans.
Shortly before, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree recognizing the independence of Donbass.
“As the commander-in-chief, I have issued an order to the personnel of the Serbian army and asked the police and special forces to prepare as best they can and continue to invest in equipment and weapons,” Vucic said.
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”