Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlović has stated that the head of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov is abusing the fact that Serbia has not imposed sanctions on Russia, trying to show that Serbia supports Russia’s attack on Ukraine, even though Serbia voted for the UN resolution condemning the war. In opposition, Minister of the Interior Aleksandar Vulin reacting to Mihaljović`s statement has said that it made clear that Lavrov unquestionably is a true friend of the country because he fully respects Serbia`s neutrality.
“Serbia has clearly decided against the war in Ukraine, and by not imposing sanctions on Russia, as the whole of Europe did, it shows that it leads an autonomous and independent policy,” said Mihajlović adding that although Lavrov stresses the friendship between the two countries, with this kind of behaviour, he shows the opposite in practice.
On the other hand, Minister of the Interior Aleksandar Vulin has highlighted that Lavrov beyond doubt is a friend of Serbia adding that Mihajlović herself can hardly be considered a true friend of the country. “Sergey Lavrov is certainly a friend of Serbia much more than those who ask us to recognize the fake state of Kosovo or those who think that it is in our interest to impose sanctions on Russia, run out of gas, but also without the most consistent friend in the international community”, said Vulin.
Minister of the Interior has looked back on previous actions of Mihajlović and in addition to this, questioned conscientiousness of Mihajlović`s intentions towards Serbia. “The one who voted for Serbia to support the Great Britain resolution according to which the Serbs are a genocidal nation responsible for mass liquidations and even more mass rapes is hardly a friend of Serbia herself and she is hardly capable to explain who are the friends of Serbia”, said Vulin.
Mihajlović underlined that Serbia conducts an independent policy that exclusively is in the interest of its citizens. “The policies of the Government and the President are the preservation of peace and stability, regional cooperation and accession to the EU. Everything that does not contribute to these goals, including what Mr. Aleksandar Vulin says, has nothing to do with this policy,” said Mihajlović.
Still, Vulin emphasized that Lavrov fully respects Serbia`s neutrality and that his actions have never endangered the country`s independence adding that Presidents Aleksandar Vučić and Vladimir Putin are speaking on the phone, comparing their positions and coordinating next steps.
“Lavrov does not force Serbia to do anything, he respects every word of the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić, highly values our neutrality and understands our position both on the issue of the conflict in Ukraine and on the issue of respect for international law, and he has never tried to direct or change our policy, which could not be said for Mrs. Mihajlović’s friends”, concluded Vulin.
Vulin: Maybe Hill will remove me from the Government, but the idea of an autonomous Serbia will not be defeated
Reacting to the statement of the US ambassador in Belgrade Christopher Hill that he did not understand what Vulin was doing in Moscow and that it was quite confusing, Minister of the Interior Aleksandar Vulin said that he did not know what Hill wanted to achieve by commenting on the actions of the minister in the Government of Serbia, which is his host.
“I know that the ambassador of Serbia in the USA would never comment on the actions of the minister from Washington. When he already shared with us what he thinks about the ministers of Serbia, he could also say what decisions Russia is forcing us to make, which are not in our interest,” stated Vulin adding that although the ambassador might succeed in removing him from the government, the idea of an independent Serbia that decides for itself will not defeat.
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