The Ukrainian embassy in Belgrade declared that Kyiv had always been on Serbia’s side and was counting on Serbia to impose sanctions against Russia and its leadership over their attack on Ukraine in response to a statement by Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin.
The Ukrainian embassy’s press release affirmed that the country was counting on Serbia to condemn the large-scale aggression mounted by the runaway regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin against a sovereign European state and impose sanctions against the aggressor and its leadership.
The statement noted that this was necessary in order to stop the Putin regime, which was murdering Ukrainian children, bombing schools, hospitals and maternity wards, and tearing down cities.
The embassy told Vulin that Russia had not invaded “certain NATO member states,” but that Putin’s regime had attacked Ukraine. That is why it is Ukraine itself, which has always been on Serbia’s side, that is urging for sanctions against the aggressor state, the embassy’s press release underscored, noting that Vulin was for “some reason” not responding to Ukraine, but to other countries.
In response to Vulin’s statement that “anyone who has hated Russia, hasn’t liked Serbia” and that “everything they’re doing to Russian children today, they’d do to Serbian children tomorrow,” the embassy noted that the Russian military had killed 143 children in Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s attacks on Ukraine on 24 February, and that those children came from Ukrainian, Russian, Belarusian, Jewish and other families, adding that 216 children had been wounded.
Serbian interior minister Vulin said on 28 March that the conflict in Ukraine launched a wave of Russophobia which, he said, always ends in Serbophobia.
He said that people who bombed Yugoslavia do not have the moral right to demand that Serbia impose sanctions on Russia, “destroying a centuries-old friendship”. He said that a “Serb World” remains his political mission. “Every nation has the natural tendency to unite only the Serbs should not,” he said.
“Everyone who hated Russia, did not like Serbia. Everything being done to Russian children today would be done by them to Serbian children tomorrow,” Vulin said in a live appearance on the pro-regime TV Pink.
On the other hand, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on 28 March in Moscow that the Russian authorities were aware of the pressures Serbia had been exposed to over the war in Ukraine, but still confident that Belgrade would sustain the wise choice it had made regarding the situation.
“We highly regard the Serbian people, culture and history, as well as Serbian commitment to traditional friends. We are confident that they will sustain the wise choice they have made in this situation,” Lavrov said to reporters.
The Russian foreign minister said that what Moscow saw in the Balkans was “a U.S. attempt at imposing hegemony,” adding that the West “is trying to isolate Russia by presenting the arithmetical result of a U.N. vote” on the resolutions condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” the Belgrade Novosti newspaper quoted Lavrov as saying.
“We know what kind of isolation these countries are exposed to. It means one thing for us – that the U.S. is afraid of isolation. If it trusts its values so strongly, it should voice its positions and let other states make their choices. Let them choose freely, with no pressure whatsoever,” Lavrov said. (Euractiv)