Serbian official visits Moscow, calls EU sanctions ‘hysteria’

Belgrade, Serbia — Serbia’s interior minister met in Moscow on Monday with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov during a rare visit by a state official from Europe.

Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin, who is known for his pro-Russian and anti-Western stance, said he told Lavrov during their meeting that “Serbia is the only state in Europe that has not introduced sanctions and was not part of the anti-Russian government.” hysteria.”

Serbia, formally pursuing European Union membership, has been drifting away from its EU path and towards traditional Slavic ally Russia, as well as China, for years.

Vulin is considered ‘the man of Moscow’ within the Serbian government.

Vulin has called for the creation of “the Serbian world” that would unite all Serbs in the Balkans under one flag under the leadership of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Vulin has said Serbia should give up its EU membership goal and turn to Moscow instead, and he has often criticized Serbia’s neighbors and their leaders, calling them derogatory names.

Last year, Vulin had set up a “working group” with Nikolai Patrushev, the powerful secretary of the Kremlin’s Security Council, to fight “color revolutions” – a series of mass protests that sometimes led to the overthrow of regimes in the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, the Middle East and Asia.

Serbian independent media reported that at their meeting in Moscow late last year, Vulin handed Patrushev listening devices from a meeting in Belgrade held by members of the Russian opposition. It was difficult for opposition groups to organize rallies in Russia, so they chose Belgrade because they do not need a visa to enter Serbia.

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Shortly afterwards, some of those who attended the meeting in Belgrade were arrested in Russia. Vulin has denied handing over the tapes to Patrushev.

Serbian opposition officials have questioned the purpose of Vulin’s visit to Moscow, as a new Serbian government is about to be formed – long-awaited after April’s general election. Most believe his trip to Russia was organized by Moscow as a way to pressure Belgrade into taking him into the new cabinet.

Lavrov had planned to visit Belgrade in June, but NATO’s neighbors have refused to allow his plane to fly over their territory.

Vulin said in a statement from Moscow on Monday that he “deeply regrets that Minister Lavrov was prevented by the will of other countries from visiting Belgrade in June, pointing out that by banning Minister Lavrov’s official visit to Serbia, Mr. all principles of international law were violated.”

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