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Vucic: Belgrade Didn’t Slap Sanctions on Moscow Because Serbia ‘Behaving as Independent Country’

© AFP 2023 / ELVIS BARUKCICPresident of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic prepares to cast his vote, at voting station in Serbian capital, Belgrade, on general elections day, April 3, 2022
President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic prepares to cast his vote, at voting station in Serbian capital, Belgrade, on general elections day, April 3, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.05.2022
Serbia’s president has made it clear that the Baltic nation will not toe the line with anti-Russian measures despite his country supporting Ukraine’s territorial integrity amid Moscow’s on-going special military operation.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has claimed that Belgrade is paying a huge price for not backing Western sanctions against Russia.
Speaking to the local broadcaster TV Prva on Sunday, Vucic touched upon problems pertaining to renewing Serbia’s international loans, as well as the fact that "seven American producers and actors refused to come to Serbia” over Belgrade’s resistance to pressure to slap Russia with sanctions
“I’m not asking anyone to say ‘thank you’ - we are doing it because of an honest attitude towards ourselves, our country, because of respect for international law. We know what sanctions are, and how unfair and unnecessary they could be”, the Serbian president pointed out.
Vucic added that he deems it his duty to tell Serbs that their country is “suffering a lot because of the non-introduction of the anti-Russian sanctions”.
“I don't have any illusions, we would have lived much better if we had imposed them. We did not do it because we are behaving as an independent country”, he underlined.
The remarks came a few weeks after Vucic warned the European Union against threatening or pressurising Belgrade to follow the West’s path and impose sanctions on Russia. The 52-year-old recalled that Serbia remains the only European country that has not slapped Moscow with “any restrictive measures”.
Flags of Russia and the United States at the American Embassy in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.05.2022
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Vucic also professed to being proud that there was neither anti-Ukrainian nor anti-Russian hysteria in Serbia. This balance, he said, prevents anyone from “destroy[ing] the monument to the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko in [the city of] Novi Sad, […] as well as the works of [prominent Russian writers Fyodor] Dostoevsky and [Leo] Tolstoy”.
The US and its allies introduced sanction packages against Russia which the White House has described as “severe.” They came in response to Moscow’s special military operation in Ukraine on 24 February after the breakaway Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics applied for assistance in fending off Kiev's provocations.
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