With Angela Merkel stepping down as German Chancellor, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic reportedly lost the support of the most powerful state in the European Union.
Official Berlin’s pressure for Serbia to impose sanctions on Russia last month intensified dramatically, prompting Vucic to confess in a conversation that “everything would be different if Merkel were still a chancellor.”
Since the change of government in Germany, Berlin’s attitude toward Belgrade has significantly changed from when the former chancellor was leading her country. Angela Merkel, who visited Serbia just before the end of her term, often tolerated the Serbian regime’s behaviour, avoiding criticizing the lack of democracy, rule of law, problems with media freedom, corruption and organized crime-related scandals.
His insistence on a kind of stabilocracy instead of democracy helped strengthen the international position of Aleksandar Vučić, who has had a strong ally in Merkel in the EU since the beginning of his rule in Serbia. After 16 years at Germany’s helm, Merkel left and Vučić was left without protection and support.
“The president told his close associates that Serbia’s position now would be much easier if Angela Merkel was still at the helm of Germany. In his opinion, he showed a high level of understanding for our country and always took into account all circumstances,” says a source.
Vucic would often cite an instance from 2015 when in the midst of the migrant crisis it was Merkel who mediated the ‘conflict’ between Serbia and Croatia, which wanted to close the border with Serbia.
“Although there was no agreement on some important issues with Angela Merkel, Vucic noted that he could always talk to her and that she was ready to listen to Serbia’s views. In this situation, when our country is under pressure to adopt sanctions on Russia, Vucic said he is convinced that everything would be different if Merkel were still the German chancellor and that Germany and the EU would not insist or press so hard on Serbia to impose sanctions (against Russia),” the source concludes.
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