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PM Vucic: The US is not asking Serbia to impose sanctions on Russia

Serbian Prime Minister and President-elect Aleksandar Vucic claims that the US senator John McCain has not asked him to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation.

Srdjan Ilic: US senator John McCain (left) and PM Aleksandar Vucic (right)
Foto: Srdjan Ilic / US senator John McCain (left) and PM Aleksandar Vucic (right)

PM Vucic said on Monday, after the meeting with Senator McCain, that he was not asked to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation. He confirmed that Russia was one of the topics of their talk. Serbian PM also said he is grateful to the Senator for being open to “hearing something different in Serbia than what he usually hears in the region.”

“I said that Serbia wants military neutrality. We have a partnership with NATO, and we have joint military exercises with both the US and Russian army. Serbia wants good relations with Russia, but strategically, we are on the path of the EU accession,” said PM Vucic at the joint press conference.

He also said that he has informed Senator McCain about challenges in the Belgrade - Pristina dialog in Brussels on normalization of relations, adding that the Senator did not ask from Serbia to recognize independency of Kosovo, which was unilaterally declared in 2008. 

In mid-December, PM Vucic announced before his visit to Moscow that Serbia will purchase six MiG-29s from Russia. It was confirmed afterwards that the aircrafts are a donation, but Serbia will have to pay around 185 million USD for their reparation. In addition to the aircrafts, Serbia is getting thirty T-72 tanks and thirty BRDM-2 amphibious armoured cars.

 

The US senator McCain said that, during the talk with Serbian PM, he pointed out the value of stability in Eastern Europe, given the fact that both World Wars started in this region.

“I have expressed my appreciation to PM Vucic for Serbia’s contribution to global security, and especially for its role in the counter-ISIS coalition. I am proud that the US remains the most active military partner,” said senator McCain.

He also praised the progress in dialog between Belgrade and Pristina, and congratulated Serbia on its economic reforms.

McCain used the opportunity to condemn the leadership of Russia and Syria, and expressed the hope that chemical weapons will no longer be used in Syria.

Senator’s visit to Serbia is a part of the Balkan tour. In January, Senator McCain was on tour in Baltic countries, Georgia and Ukraine, where he called for a stronger opposition to Russia and President Putin.

Irena Stevic

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