Previously opposed to sanctioning Moscow, President Aleksandar Vucic has come under intense pressure from Washington to relent
FILE PHOTO: Aleksandar Vucic speaks during a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia, September 4, 2021 © AP / Darko Vojinovic
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has said that he will issue a statement on possible anti-Russia sanctions early next month, but will be guided by “the interests of Serbia” alone. Vucic has vehemently opposed penalizing Moscow for its offensive in Ukraine, but has come under pressure from the US to change his stance.
“As for us and the imposition of sanctions, I will talk about this more and more thoroughly on May 6,” Vucic told reporters at a military expo near Belgrade on Saturday, according to RIA Novosti. While acknowledging that he has been under pressure from unnamed politicians to acquiesce to the West’s sanctions regime, Vucic added that “our policy should be a policy of responsibility, a policy of development for Serbia, which will think about the interests of Serbia at every moment.”
From the outset of the conflict in Ukraine, Vucic has sought to maintain relations with both the West and Russia. Although Serbia voted for a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s military operation, Vucic later said that he was blackmailed into doing so, with his country threatened with energy sanctions if it refused.