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Proxy war between East and West in Serbia, President Vucic says

Serbia really wants to join europe while keeping strong relations using its gas supplier Russia and key investor China.

Published On 29 Aug 2022

The East and West are engaged in a proxy war in Serbia, President Aleksandar Vucichas said, as Belgrade seeks to keep its ambition to become listed on the EU while keeping its relations with Russia and China.

Vucics remarks on Monday come each day after protesters at a rally in Belgrade against a gay pride march waved Russian flags and carried posters of Russias President Vladimir Putin.

I cannot say that it [the protest] was a proxy attack because there have been many ordinary people there But whether there exists a proxy conflict in Serbia there’s one, without doubt about this, East and West, he said.

Serbia is a candidate to become listed on its single-biggest trade partner and investor, europe, since 2012. It really is militarily neutral but maintains ties with NATO and contains purchased weapons from its member states.

However, the Balkan nation is nearly entirely influenced by Russian gas and contains also bought weapons from Russia. China is really a key investor, mainly in mining and infrastructure.

Although Serbia condemned Russias invasion of Ukraine at the US, it refused to become listed on sanctions against Moscow. Beijing and Moscow support Serbias opposition to the independence of Kosovo, Belgrades former southern province, over which it fought a 1998-99 war.

We have been attempting to survive with as few wounds and scars as you possibly can, said Vucic, a former nationalist who later embraced pro-European policies.

Kosovo-Serbia tensions

Before Serbia joins the EU, it must mend ties with Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.

EU-sponsored talks have already been slow and frequently marred by tensions, the most recent which erupted come early july over the problem of car number plates and identity documents for minority Serbs, mainly surviving in Kosovos north.

Independent Kosovo is recognised by america and all but five EU members however, not by Belgrade along with other states, including Serbias allies Russia and China.

Although Serbia and Kosovo decided to settle the dispute over identification documents, authorities in Pristina said local Serbs must switch their car number plates from Serbian to Kosovo ones within 8 weeks of September 1.

Anti-Russian hysteria

Vucic said he didn’t believe authorities in Pristina wanted a significant conversation or perhaps a serious dialogue, however they believed they might impose their plans with support from the West.

I trust that those countries which are protecting the so-called independence of Kosovo will convince the Pristina regime never to play [with] a conflict in your community, that is certainly filled with problems, he said.

The Serbian president said more talks and shuttle diplomacy by EU and US envoys targeted at resolving the automobile number plates issue are anticipated in the coming weeks.

The other day, Serbias Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulinmet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, highlighting Belgrades refusal to become listed on Western sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine.

Lavrov throughout their meeting said, Serbia may be the only state in Europe that didnt introduce sanctions and had not been section of the anti-Russian hysteria.

Source

:

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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