explains refusal to affix Russia sanctions


President Aleksandar Vucic says he could be praised as “the most important democrat” if he turned in opposition to Moscow

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It has value Serbia lots to defy the West’s push to impose sanctions on Russia over its army operation in Ukraine, President Aleksandar Vucic stated on Sunday.

He believes he could be celebrated by the West and hailed as a hero had Belgrade backed the financial restrictions in opposition to Moscow.

“It prices us lots to not have imposed sanctions on Russia. But when we imposed them, it could value us our precept of not supporting sanctions in opposition to anybody, as a result of we all know from our personal expertise that sanctions are immoral and inefficient,” Vucic advised Pink TV.

“They’re saying that I’m a traitor. A traitor? The one one in Europe who hasn’t imposed sanctions on Russia, and from such a small nation. Name me no matter you need, however the individuals have proven what they suppose [during the election].”

Vucic was re-elected with 58% of the vote earlier this month. He repeatedly stated that Belgrade has been underneath critical strain and “blackmailing” to affix in on the restrictions positioned on Russia after it launched a large-scale offensive in opposition to Ukraine in late February.

“If I wished to grow to be the world’s primary hero, it could be sufficient to say one thing in opposition to Putin, and everybody would give me awards and name me the most important democrat on the planet.”

The president additionally stated that banning oil and fuel from Russia would cripple the Serbian financial system. “On a day-to-day foundation, we should make selections that profit the residents of Serbia.”

Vucic additionally accused Kiev and an unnamed EU state of a sequence of false bomb threats to Air Serbia passenger planes. Greater than a dozen planes have been pressured to return to Belgrade or Moscow, whereas different flights had been delayed, and the Belgrade airport was evacuated at the least 3 times over the previous a number of weeks. “Overseas [intelligence] providers of two international locations are doing that. One is an EU nation, and Ukraine is one other,” the president stated.

The bomb threats started after Serbia refused to again an EU ban on Russian flights. “We’re persevering with these flights actually out of precept as a result of we need to present that we’re a free nation and we make our personal selections. Don’t resolve for us when to cancel flights,” Vucic stated.

“Did you cancel your flights when 19 international locations have been bombing Serbia? No less than 30 international locations – NATO member states – at the moment are serving to one nation. Nobody helped us once we have been attacked by [the] 19 strongest nations,” he added, referring to the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the phrases of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols have been designed to provide the breakaway areas particular standing inside the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine formally declare itself a impartial nation that may by no means be part of the US-led NATO army bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was fully unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the 2 republics by pressure.

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