Serbia’s rejection of anti-Russian sanctions is a fact, ‘like it or not,’...

Serbia’s rejection of anti-Russian sanctions is a fact, ‘like it or not,’ Vucic says

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Serbia’s rejection of anti-Russian sanctions is a fact, ‘like it or not,’ Vucic says

The Serbian leader said that, in his explanation of rejection of the anti-Russian sanctions for the summit participants

Serbia refused to impose sanctions against Russia, whether someone likes it or not, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters after the EU – Western Balkans Summit in Tirana.

“We were a subject of discussion regarding the rejection of sanctions [against Russia], and I said in response, […] I told them [the participants – ] directly, without evasion, the truth, in the language of arguments and facts. Serbia is the only country that did not impose sanctions against Russia; let them not lie to you that there is someone else, there is no-one else. I have nothing against what they wrote in the declaration, that we did not support or impose sanctions. These are facts, whether someone likes it or not,” Vucic said.

The Serbian leader said that, in his explanation of rejection of the anti-Russian sanctions for the summit participants, he underscored that this is “first and foremost, a matter of attitude to the Serbians.”

“I said: see, Russia imposed sanctions against Serbia in 1992, but Serbia did not impose sanctions against Russia; it is a matter of self-respect, respect of what we’ve lived through during the 9 years under sanctions. Therefore it is natural that we do not want to take part in this policy. We have different approaches to the destruction of infrastructure in Ukraine – I reminded them that the infrastructure in Serbia was being destroyed in a similar manner [in 1999], so we have a different position. But we understood the EU’s position well and whom it is related to,” Vucic said, adding that Serbia will make such decisions on its own in the future.

Following the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, Vucic said in his address to the nation that Serbia supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine, but will not impose sanctions against Russia. The Serbian President said that the republic temporarily suspends army and police drills with all foreign partners. He noted that Serbia considers both Russia and Ukraine brotherly states and regrets what is happening in Eastern Europe, and expressed readiness to provide humanitarian aid to Kiev.