Putin Speaks To Serbian President Vucic

by Cristian Florescu

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, May 29 held a telephonic conversation with President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic to discuss the ongoing war in Ukraine and the bilateral ties, writes republicworld.com

According to a statement published by Kremlin, the two leaders pledged to expand mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation, particularly in view of the Western coordinated sanctions against the Russian Federation with an aim to tatter its economy, trade and commerce. 

Russia and Serbia agreed to consistently strengthen the strategic partnership between the two nations. “It was agreed, in particular, that Russia will continue to supply uninterrupted natural gas to Serbia. The exchange of views continued on a number of international topics—the situation in Ukraine and developments around Kosovo,” Kremlin notified in an officially published statement on May 29. 

Serbian leader Vucic had earlier highlighted three main concerns for Belgrade: Russian natural gas supply currency payment, reliable deliveries and impact on energy purchase due to the ongoing conflict with Ukraine. As Russia’s leader Putin reaffirmed that Moscow would continue the undisrupted supply of Russian gas, Vucic said that he hopes Serbia “will get an honest price.” Regional leaders had earlier warned that Moscow may convince Serbia to undermine the independence of Kosovo and different western Balkan states, as EU and NATO allured the Balkan states to join the defence Alliance. 

Kosovo’s prime minister, Albin Kurti, had warned that “it is in the interest of the Russian Federation to have new battlegrounds because they do not want to go back to peace.” President Vjosa Osmani had predicted that “Russia, by destabilising the western Balkans, will seek to destabilise the whole of Europe.”

Member of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency, Šefik Džaferović, meanwhile warned that his country was vulnerable and weak to confront Russia, after Serb member of the presidency Milorad Dodik, threatened to withdraw Bosnian Serb participation from the nationwide military, judiciary and taxation system, Guardian newspaper learned. He also threatened to rip up the Dayton peace treaty that split Bosnia and Herzegovina into two, ending the Serbian conflict in 1995. Dodik is “encouraged in his behaviour by Russia, which is always keen on showing that it can destabilise EU and NATO,” Džaferović warned. 

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