Serbia explains refusal to join Russia sanctions — Analysis
President Aleksandar Vucic says he would be praised as “the biggest democrat” if he turned against Moscow
It has cost Serbia a lot to defy the West’s push to impose sanctions on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, President Aleksandar Vucic said on Sunday.
If Belgrade had supported the economic sanctions against Moscow, he believes that he would have been celebrated in the West.
“It costs us a lot not to have imposed sanctions on Russia. But if we imposed them, it would cost us our principle of not supporting sanctions against anyone, because we know from our own experience that sanctions are immoral and inefficient,”Vucic said Pink TV.
“They’re saying that I’m a traitor. A traitor? The only one in Europe who hasn’t imposed sanctions on Russia, and from such a small country. I don’t care what you think, the people know their thoughts. [during the election].”
Vucic won 58% of the votes earlier in this month and was reelected. He stated repeatedly that Belgrade was under severe pressure. “blackmailing”To join the restraints placed upon Russia following its large-scale attack against Ukraine in February.
“If I wanted to become the world’s number one hero, it would be enough to say something against Putin, and everyone would give me awards and call me the biggest democrat in the world.”
The president stated, in addition to stating that Russia should be banned from oil and gas exports, it would also cripple Serbia’s economy. “On a day-to-day basis, we must make decisions that benefit the citizens of Serbia.”
Russia invaded the neighbouring country in February after Ukraine failed to comply with the Minsk Agreements, which were first signed in 2014. This was in response to Russia’s recognition of Lugansk and Donetsk as Donbass republics in Moscow. French and German protocols that were negotiated by the French helped to grant the regions of breakaway special status in the Ukrainian government.
Since then, the Kremlin demanded Ukraine declare itself neutral and vow to never join NATO’s military bloc. Kiev claims that the Russian invasion was unprovoked. It also denies any plans to take the republics with force.
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