Following the news from Moscow that Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed that the price of gas for Serbia will not change in the next six months, political scientist Vuk Velebit says it is no coincidence that this is happening six months before the elections in Serbia, and that he thinks this is Putin’s pre-election gift to Vučić.
It is not known exactly what Serbia will do to thank Russia, but it is certain that the price of this political trade will be high, says Velebit.
On the one hand, this is good news, because if the global price of gas continues to grow, it will have big consequences. “Serbia is dependent on Russian gas, and this would have both economic and political consequences,” Velebit said, adding that, on the other hand, Russia is buying its political support in Serbia with this concession.
He underlined that there are no friendships in the theory of international relations and recalled what Vucic constantly reiterates the phrase “Serbian-Russian relations are at the highest level”, but Russian partners do not see it that way. “Russia is a serious superpower and they care about their interests are. Their interest is for Serbia to remain an ally of Russia in the Balkans, as it can expand its influence regionally,” the political scientist said.
Velebit also said he believed the gas price was agreed in advance with Putin, although the president’s narrative before he left was that he would go and ask Putin to keep the gas price good for Serbia. “The price was agreed in advance, as reported by the Russian press, which has learned from Serbian sources that the price was agreed before the visit and that Vucic will present it as his pre-election success,” Velebit added.
He underlined the fact that Vucic’s visits to Putin always take place before the elections, as Putin is trying to keep Vucic close to him, even though he is aware that he cannot trust him.
Velebit also said that the Russian press wrote about Vučić as a “confidante of the West”, while on the other hand, Vucic is trying to satisfy his electorate. “Putin underlined that he expected voters to recognise the high level of cooperation between Serbia and Russia in the elections and that a part of the pro-Russian electorate in Serbia will be satisfied,” the expert said.
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