The president emphasized that he understood all of Sweden’s “messages,” from sanctions against Russia to how Belgrade should behave toward Pristina
Serbia seeks to remain militarily neutral despite Sweden’s demand that it slap sanctions on Russia and align the country’s foreign policy with Europe’s, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Wednesday at a joint press conference with Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom.
“Mr. Billstrom insisted that Serbia impose sanctions against Russia and repeated this several times, demanding that our foreign policy be aligned with that of the countries which are either EU members or on the path to becoming members,” Vucic said.
“He pointed out that after 200 years of military neutrality, Sweden has now decided to join the military bloc. I explained that I understand Sweden’s position, but ours should be understood as well. It was the military bloc that attacked us without the approval of the UN Security Council in 1999, so our emotions are a bit different, and we strive to remain militarily neutral and not join that bloc which attacked us against the wishes of the UN in an effort to violate our country’s territorial integrity and trample on the UN resolution. Of course, this resulted in heavy casualties among civilians, military and police in our country,” Vucic said, thanking the Swedish foreign minister for his frankness.
The president emphasized that he understood all of Sweden’s “messages,” from sanctions against Russia to how Belgrade should behave toward Pristina. Vucic reminded that Serbia is “an independent and sovereign state” which makes decisions while “certainly bearing in mind” the views of its partners.
After Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said in his address to the nation following a meeting of the Security Council that Belgrade supported Ukraine’s territorial integrity, but would not impose sanctions on Russia. Vucic said that Serbia would suspend any joint military exercises with all foreign partners. He noted that Serbia believes Russia and Ukraine to be fraternal nations, feels sorry about the recent developments in Eastern Europe and remains ready to provide humanitarian aid to Kiev.