Does Serbia really have military and political neutrality?

The leader of the People’s Party, Vuk Jeremić, said recently that Serbia should maintain its military neutrality, while the President of the Democratic Party (DS), Zoran Lutovac, believes that Serbia is not politically neutral.

Jeremić told RTS that, in order for military neutrality to be sustainable in the long run, Serbia has to re-introduce conscription like Switzerland or Austria.

He added that “Serbia should not join NATO or fight against NATO” and that “it should not participate in the wars in which NATO will participate in the 21st century”.

“Regarding political neutrality, Serbia has to officially say ‘no’ to sanctions, not only to Russia but to any country, unless they have been approved by the UN Security Council,” he said.

According to him, Serbia should also not support unilateral military interventions that the UN Security Council did not approve.

He stated that Serbia should use its neutrality, at least when it comes to the war in Ukraine, and that in 2025 it should run for a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council,

“If Serbia were to apply, we could, thanks to our neutrality, be elected to the UN Security Council and that would significantly improve our position regarding Kosovo and Metohija,” Jeremic said.

Lutovac assessed that Serbia is not politically neutral, but has aligned itself politically. He went on to say that Serbia has an obligation to follow the path of European integration.

“As for military neutrality, it is something that a country can claim it has, but in reality, it does not depend on it,” said Lutovac.

Serbia, as he stated, on the one hand, expresses military neutrality, but on the other hand, passes resolutions condemning conflicts, which are aimed at preserving territorial integrity.

When asked if the DS considers that a good policy, he replied that Serbia does not have a foreign policy but only a national one.

Earlier this year, a poll showed that 46 percent of Serbs believe that their country should stay neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war, confirming that a balancing act appears to be the least costly strategy for the Serbian government.

(, 25.10.2023)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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