Head of Serbian Military Union branded as “Russian agent” by Western military intelligence services

Head of the Military Union of Serbia Novica Antić is an associate of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), a so-called “agent of influence” tasked with spreading the pro-Russia narrative and weakening the pro-EU and pro-NATO sentiment, the Politico website reported, quoting a Western intelligence briefing it had access to.

Russian intelligence is using a Serbian agent to infiltrate EU institutions and to spread pro-Kremlin talking points about its invasion of Ukraine, Politico reported.

Politico adds that Antić met with European officials in Brussels and in particular, Members of the European Parliament, including German Greens lawmaker Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, Italian Socialists & Democrats lawmaker Alessandra Moretti, and Vladimír Bilčík, a Slovakian member of the conservative European People’s Party Group, according to a press release and a photo seen by POLITICO. There is nothing in the intelligence briefing to suggest that Moretti, Bilčík and von Cramon-Taubadel were aware of Antić’s FSB links when they met with him.

Politico further states that Antić has been working closely with an FSB associate named Vyacheslav Kalinin, a Russian national and editor-in-chief of Veteran News, a media website specializing in news for the veterans of the armed forces. An “About us” tab on the website says that Veteran News is an “information partner” of the FSB and the Russian Ministry of Defense, among other branches of Russia’s security forces.

Politico goes on to claim that Kalinin invited Antić to Russia to meet with senior Russian military officials between 2019 and 2020. Initially focused on influencing Serbian civil society, the pair have since widened their focus to include European trade union and veterans’ organizations and, in recent months, members of the European Parliament.

Antić, an outspoken critic of Serbia’s armed forces who has fallen afoul of the country’s political leadership, is currently being detained on unspecified charges. The arrest came two weeks after Serbian Defence Minister Milos Vučević described the idea of trade unions for military personnel as “stupidity”. There hasn’t yet been any official statement about the case, and Antić’s lawyers did not want to specify the criminal offence with which he has been charged.

“It is a pre-investigation procedure. The procedure will continue with a hearing before the Higher Public Prosecutor’s Office in Novi Sad because it has territorial jurisdiction,” one of Antic’s lawyers, Mitar Krstić said.

(Blic, 05.03.2024)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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