Aleksandar Vulin appointed head of Serbian intelligence: reactions

The appointment of Aleksander Vulin as director of the BIA (the Security and Information Agency, Serbia’s national security service) does not cease to intrigue the public, and one of the questions that arise is what will be his first moves in that post, and as some question his qualifications for the position and express reservations about his professionalism in carrying out this serious and delicate task.

Zoran Lutovac, President of the Democratic Party, says, for Danas daily, that he believes Vulin will “first stop monitoring opposition leaders, and then harmonise BIA’s operations with Serbia’s foreign policy priority – EU accession – and protect state security accordingly.” Of a completely opposite opinion is Aleksandar Jovanović Ćuta of the Moramo-Zajedno parliamentary coalition, who expects “the arrest of political dissidents and a brutal showdown with anyone who raises their voice against their leader Aleksandar Vučić. “I expect to see a return to the 1990s. Just as Vulin once hid behind Mira Marković’s skirt, today he is hiding behind the former radical minister of information, the current president. He will be ruthless. Expect arrest warrants and lawsuits from Vulin. He is ready to do anything. Just as his police, paramilitaries and security in various companies brutally beat people in Majdanpek and Novi Sad, there will be more and more such scenes. Aleksandar Vulin is a pathological coward ready for anything. We can also expect instability in the region because they will continue to incite people against each other,” says Jovanović.

Asked if he expected to be arrested, he replied that ‘he (Vulin) can try, no problem’. While Đorđe Miketić, from the Zajedno coalition, shares a similar opinion and says that Vulin will first complete a crash course in how to be an intelligence officer, to get into the role a bit, just as he completed a 15-day-military training before he was appointed Defence Minister.

“And then, I expect him to wiretap everyone who speaks against his ‘boss’ and takes notes. After all, that is what he has been doing until now. What will be difficult for him is that he will not be allowed to make public statements, so he will use his literary talent for writing reports, in Serbian, with Russian translation. If there is anything good in this, it is that the public space will breathe a sigh of relief from his outbursts and outrageous statements,” Miketić adds.

Radomir Lazović, from the Ne davimo Beograd organization and the head of the parliamentary caucus ‘Greens-Left Bloc’, believes that Vulin will be mainly engaged in monitoring and controlling threats, not to the state, but to the SNS-led government. “I expect the political dissidents in the government to be confronted and the destruction of the BIA’s core activity to continue. His appointment as director of the BIA is a sign of the complete and progressive privatisation of this institution by the ruling party,” Lazović points out for Danas.

Miloš Jovanović, president of the New Democratic Party of Serbia, has a different opinion: ‘I much prefer Vulin at the head of the BIA than some pro-Westerners. Regardless of Mr Vulin’s character and actions, from my political point of view and considering the international context, this is not news that shocked me. On the contrary, it is a good sign.” In response to the Nova journalist’s assertion that character and actions are important, Jovanović says that that is important in normal circumstances, “but in these circumstances, where we are in a serious conflict, and I would say in a conflict of civilisations, it is more important what kind of signal we send out. I prefer Vulin to someone who is pro-Western,” Jovanović added.

Čedomir Stojković, a lawyer and founder of the Citizens’ Association ‘Grupa Oktobar’, takes a radically opposite view: ‘The appointment of Aleksandar Vulin as director of the BIA directly threatens Serbia’s national interests and brings the country to the brink of isolation,” he said, adding that Aleksandar Vulin has been Putin’s agent for 15 years.

(Danas, 04.12.2022)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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