The visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Belgrade, which until today had seemed definite, is now instead very doubtful.
Speaking for the Pink TV from Bratislava, where he is attending the Globsec Forum, President Vucic said that the situation around Lavrov’s arrival in Serbia, which, according to media reports was scheduled for June 7, is becoming complicated.
“It is getting complicated, it is definitely getting complicated, I am not ready to talk about it yet, but yes, the question is whether he will come, we will see,” Vucic said.
Asked whether “it would be bad news” if German Chancellor Olaf Scholz did come to Belgrade on June 10, Vučić replied in the affirmative. “It would be a tragedy…imagine that a German Chancellor schedules an official visit a country and then says he doesn’t want to go anymore…of course (it would be) bad news.” Asked “if it is possible for that to happen,” Vučić said he hoped not. “There is always a possibility, but I hope it won’t happen. We will see if Lavrov will come, then we will see if there will be reactions from other countries as well.”
This turn of events is caused by various factors, but more than others it is the pressure from the West not to allow Lavrov’s arrival. Vladan Zivulovic, president of the Atlantic Council of Serbia, agrees that the “complications” regarding Lavrov’s visit are a consequence of Serbia being conditioned. “It can be concluded from President Vučić’s statement that the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is conditioned by the cancellation of the visit to Sergei Lavrov. This puts Vučić in a difficult situation because he has to weigh out what is most important: ties with Russia or EU membership,” Zivulović underlined.
Emphasizing the economic ties between Serbia and EU countries, Zivulovic expresses the expectation that Serbia will move toward Europe: “The question is how much Vucic can afford to lose the support of Germany, which, as Serbia’s most important trading partner and has many investments in the country. Moreover, my impression is that relations between the highest authorities in Belgrade and Moscow are much deeper than they seem. It is crucial to understand whether or not the West will tolerate this double game of Serbia.”
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