In the first-ever visit of a UK Defence Secretary to Serbia, Ben Wallace met with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Minister of Defence Nebojša Stefanović – the reputable British daily, The Telegraph, reports.
The Defence Secretary has said Britain wants Serbia to be “at the top table”, as he signed a landmark agreement to counter Russian meddling.
Ben Wallace also said it was in the UK’s security interest to be “engaged in post-Yugoslavia development” adding Britain will help Serbia resist Russia’s “malign influence” and “manipulation”.
Speaking to the Telegraph in Belgrade the Defence Secretary said Serbia “warrants our attention and support because we want it to join us at the top table”.
“It’s in our interest that we help the resilience of countries like Serbia, from malign activity and influence.
“In places where we see activity by other nations, weakening countries or undermining them or trying to manipulate them, then, of course, it’s in our interest to challenge that [and] support those countries.
He said it “doesn’t bother” Britain that Serbia also has friendly relationships with Russia as “Serbia is militarily neutral”.
“We’re not in the Russia game of taking a country for granted and trying to make it choose. We’re not evangelically telling [Serbia] what to do. “We want the best security for the people of Serbia [but] we still need burden-sharing and some partners will be less traditional than you think, including Serbia,” Wallace said, as reported by The Telegraph.
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